WestJet Airlines retires 18 aircraft

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Monday, February 14, 2005

Calgary, Alberta —

WestJet's empty cargo bins
Credit: gloom

WestJet Airlines is taking a CA$47.6 million charge on its books to retire 18 older airplanes. They will be replaced by 16 new 737 planes. Calgary based WestJet announced this Friday amid growing concerns about fuel prices. WestJet expects the new planes will save up to 30% more fuel.

The decision is expected to be a major hit to their profits and short-term growth potential. "It looks like the growth curve is going to slow down and fairly substantially through this next year," independent airline analyst Rick Erickson said Friday. "I won't expect that there's going to be very much in the way of new destinations for WestJet to serve." WestJet plans on reporting year end results next Tuesday.