Canadian budget carrier orders Boeing jets worth $438 million

A Canadian upstart ultra-low-cost airline Monday ordered five Boeing 737 Max 7 aircraft worth some $438 million at list prices.

Jetlines expects to beginning flying from its Vancouver, B.C. base beginning next summer with seven older Boeing 737 Classic aircraft. The budget airline plans to acquire nine new Boeing Next Generation 737s to supplement that initial fleet and ultimately will add 21 737 Max 7s to its inventory of planes.

Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft are the newest versions of the 737, the world’s best-selling passenger jet. The first of those Renton-built single-aisle planes is scheduled to enter commercial service with lead customer Southwest Airlines in 2017.

The Max aircraft will feature new, fuel-efficient engines, aerodynamic improvements and an updated cockpit to cut costs for the airlines that fly them.

The five planes in Monday’s announcement are on firm order with Boeing. Sixteen additional 737 Max jets are on option with the aerospace company.

Jetlines says it intends to bring the budget airline model to Canada. It plans to charge base fares lower than Canada’s two main airlines, West Jet and Air Canada, but will offer passengers other services such as prime seating, advance seat selection, onboard refreshments and baggage handling at extra cost as do budget airlines such as Ireland’s Ryanair and Spirit and Allegiant airlines in the United States.

The airline also plans to fly to lower cost alternate airports, a concept pioneered by Allegiant in the United States.