WestJet Airlines Ltd., Canada’s low fare scheduled airline, recently announced finalization of agreements with The Boeing Company for the firm acquisition of 26 Boeing 737-700 new generation jet aircraft with a market value of approximately US $1.2 billion, with options to purchase an additional 48 aircraft. At the same time, WestJet announced the signing of arrangements with General Electric Capital Corporation for the lease of 10 additional Boeing 737-700s, with the option to lease an additional 10 aircrafts.
WestJet currently operates 18 737-200 aircrafts with service to 15 Canadian cities. The acquisition and lease arrangements will allow WestJet to replace all of its older generation 737-200s with the supply of up to 94 new generation jet aircrafts from 2001 through to 2008.
Legal advice to WestJet on both the Boeing and GE Capital transactions was provided by Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer, represented by Dino DeLuca and assisted by Mike Martin. Boeing completed this transaction relying on in-house counsel, Dawn Foster and Kelly Johnston. GE Capital was represented in the United States by William Piels of Holland & Knight and in Canada by Donald Gray of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP.