WestJet (WS, Calgary) has deferred the deliveries of the initial five B737-7s from 2019 to 2021 amid decreasing interest in operating the smallest B737 MAX type, CEO Ed Sims told Bloomberg.

"We are really focusing now on the B737-8, which has got extended range and greater seat capacity. We really converted on our initial options and our interest in the MAX 7 into the MAX 8, and we’re now evaluating the next generation of MAX, which is the B737-10", Sims said.

The Canadian carrier has twenty-three MAX 7s on order with Boeing, as well as nine more 8s and twelve 10s. It has already taken delivery of twelve 8s.

Sims added that going forward, WestJet will consider converting some of its orders for MAX 7s into 8s or 10s.

"We really want to evaluate the MAX 10. It’s got significant additional seat capacity - up to 30 extra seats - and at least the same level of range as the MAX 8. The beauty for us in the MAX is essentially it’s a narrowbody Dreamliner, so it is easily capable of operating transatlantic," Sims said.

The Canadian airline is one of just four carriers which have ordered MAX 7s besides Southwest Airlines (WN, Dallas Love Field), Jetlines (CJL, Vancouver Int'l) (who announced its intention to terminate the order in September 2018), and Turkmenistan Airlines (T5, Ashgabat).

Sims also said that WestJet is still considering converting its ten options for B787 aircraft but will only take a decision after it introduces B787-9s into the fleet and reviews their performance. The carrier has ten -9s on firm order, of which the first unit is due to commence scheduled service initially on domestic routes on February 20, 2019.