Home / Featured / WestJet Airlines Ltd seeks to slow Bombardier Q400 deliveries as Alberta economy struggles
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WestJet Airlines Ltd seeks to slow Bombardier Q400 deliveries as Alberta economy struggles

WestJet president and CEO Gregg Saretsky  weighed in on Bombardier’s ill-fated CSeries, which he said “wasn’t designed for the Canadian carriers.”

In another possible blow to Bombardier Inc., WestJet Airlines Ltd. is in talks with the struggling company to slow down deliveries of the Q400 turboprops it has on order, part of a broader strategy to cope with Alberta’s deteriorating economy.

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In an editorial board meeting with the Financial Post, WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky said the airline is “looking for ways to tap the brakes without jamming them on.”

“We’re in discussions with Bombardier about slowing the deliveries of Q400s, but they’re hardly in a position to talk about slowing anything,” Saretsky said, pointing to the company’s stock price, which has been trading below $1 for the past two weeks.

WestJet is also in discussions with Boeing Co. about deferring delivery of three new 737s, and plans to return nine leased aircraft to their owners by 2017 — the first time in the airline’s history it has not renewed leases.

Bombardier spokeswoman Marianella de la Barrera said the company is always open to engaging with its customers but doesn’t know of any changes to its Q400 delivery schedule.

“I can tell you that our plans for the Q400, our production plans and schedules, are pretty firmed up for the year,” she said. “As far as I know there isn’t any change to that.”

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