Swoop Stays Lean By Leaning On WestJet For MRO In Near Term

Canadian ultra-low-fare Swoop, which now services 17 destinations in North and Central America and The Caribbean with seven Boeing 737NGs, is planning initiatives to ensure a lean operation for the near future. 

Swoop has only a small in-house maintenance operations team that includes a senior maintenance manager, quality assurance manager, maintenance manager and a fleet-reliability manager, explains Shane Workman, head of flight operations. This team is necessary to satisfy regulatory requirements and ensure oversight of Swoop’s approved maintenance organization. 

On a day-to day basis, Swoop’s fleet is entirely maintained by WestJet’s tech operations, which has partnered with Swoop in a variety of Canadian maintenance bases. “Swoop operates on an optimized maintenance program that allows for high utilization and a very reliable fleet, aligning with the ultra-low-cost carrier business model,” Workman notes. 

Swoop’s main maintenance bases are strategically set up across Canada and have capabilities up to and including B checks. Heavy checks and fleet conversions have been supported by an outside shop at KF Aerospace in Kelowna, British Columbia.

At this time, Swoop has no plans to change this basic maintenance strategy, Workman says. The ultra-low-fare does not currently employ any of its own mechanics or aircraft maintenance engineers. “However, we will evaluate adding mechanics or an aircraft maintenance organization as we continue to grow.”

By using WestJet maintenance facilities, Swoop does not currently plan to add any aircraft maintenance facilities or locations “at this time,” Workman says.
Like its parent WestJet, the ultra-low-fare subsidiary uses TRAX for its maintenance management.