Canada’s government will have to buy new planes, which will cost $1.4 billion, in order to replace the planes that are being used by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in the wake of a new government plan to replace its fleet of Bombardiers jets with Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
The government is spending $9 billion to buy the 737-800 and 787 jets, and to put them into service by 2025, a decision that will also require an aircraft that is cheaper to operate.
But in a move that could be seen as an attempt to appease critics of the decision, the federal government announced Thursday that it will purchase new versions of Boeing’s 787 aircraft, a move critics have accused of “pushing Boeing to do what it’s going to do anyway” in order “to save face and make it look good.”
The government will replace the 787s with a Boeing 737-900, and will replace some of the 737s that were built in Canada with 737-700s.
The new jets will replace those that the government already has in service, as well as those that were purchased by the United States.
The replacement planes will be more expensive to operate than the existing planes, but the government will not have to pay Boeing to make them.
“We’re going to make a decision in the next few months to purchase new jets, so we’ll be able to get them into the market,” Conservative Defence Minister Jason Kenney said Thursday.
“We will do this in the same way we’ve done it for many, many years now.”
The government plans to buy a total of 3,823 737-400 and 737-500 planes over the next decade, costing $8.8 billion.
The government says the 737’s performance will be improved over the 797s.
“There’s going be more flexibility, we’ll have the capability to make those planes more affordable, to have the ability to upgrade,” Kenney told reporters at the National Press Theatre.
The planes will replace older planes that the RCAF has been using, and are being retired as the Air Force’s fleet of 787’s becomes obsolete.
Bombarders, who will still fly them, will also be replaced.
Boeing says it will buy 4,000 737-200s and 737.200s over the coming decade, which is the same number of planes that were previously in service with the Air Defence Force (ADF).
Boeing says the plane will offer more flexibility and greater capability than the 707.
The 737-300 and 737i will be retired by 2020.
“The new 737-600 and 737I will provide better capability than Boeing’s 737, will have greater performance, will provide more flexibility than the 737, and we can continue to provide the services the Canadians expect,” Boeing says on its website.
“The 737-100 and 737 will be in service in 2025, providing Canada with the best-in-class capability for the next 25 years.”
Boeard says it expects to start production of the new 787 on the same schedule as the 767 and 747.