Air Canada took delivery of 12 B737 MAX thus far in 2018, with six B737 MAX aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2Q 2018 and the remaining 43 of the 61 B737 MAX aircraft scheduled for delivery between 2019 and 2024.
The carrier concluded its amendment to its B737 purchase agreement in April 2018 whereby certain aircraft delivery positions are accelerated and others are deferred, to give the airline better deployment from a timing perspective. The amendment accelerates delivery of five B737 MAX aircraft by one year to 2020, and defers delivery of 11 B737 MAX aircraft by up to 36 months.
Air Canada expects to take delivery of six B737 MAXs and two B787s in 2Q, with two B787s and three of the six B737s financed under private offerings of the EETCs. The carrier also plans to purchase the other three remaining B737s with cash in the 2Q and may opt to purchase additional aircraft with cash in 2019.
The cash transactions will further increase the number of owned and unencumbered aircraft in its fleet. At the end of 2017, this number stood at 56, and the airline expects that number to reach 89 by the end of 2018, including 25 E190s, which plan to be sold.
Following a thorough fleet analysis, Air Canada has decided to invest $275 million in its A330 fleet, eight of which are owned and fully unencumbered and four of which are under lease arrangements with delivery scheduled in 2019. These final four are slated to replace the capacity of its older B767s.
Air Canada is also exploring exercising its options on B787s. However, the decision to invest in its A330 fleet provides a highest return. The reconfiguration of the A330s is expected to begin in late 2019, for a completion in 1H 2020.
The airline will also wait to see how the CSeries performs, before potentially exercising its options under that order.