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WestJet’s regional airline, WestJet Encore, is celebrating five years of bringing choice and competition to regional markets across Canada, lowering airfares and creating jobs and economic growth.
Since its launch in 2013 powered by two Bombardier Q400 aircraft, WestJet Encore has operated more than 300,000 flights and has expanded its fleet of Canadian-made Q400 aircraft to 47.
“Over the past five years WestJet Encore has connected nearly 13 million guests from more than 37 cities who may not have had the opportunity to fly before,” said Charles Duncan, president, WestJet Encore, and executive vice-president, WestJet.
“By operating over 250 flights every day our fleet has given life to the markets we serve and we’re extremely proud to see the growth that has occurred. The impact of our investments and our efforts has been profound. As Canada’s most reliable regional airline we are extremely proud of the entire WestJet community who’ve helped make WestJet Encore a success.”
WestJet Encore said it has dropped fares by as much as 50 per cent and increased travel by as much as 90 per cent year-over-year by bringing competition and stimulating travel through lower fares in small and medium-sized communities where populations are not large enough to sustain larger, jet aircraft.
WestJet Encore currently employs close to 1,700 personnel and since its inception has created nearly 13,000 jobs from coast-to-coast.
Earlier this year, WestJet Encore, the largest Canadian operator of Bombardier Q400 aircraft, was named a winner in the Bombardier Commercial Aircraft’s 2017 Airline Reliability Performance awards.
The Airline Reliability Awards recognize operators of Bombardier’s Q-Series turboprops and CRJ regional jets that have achieved at least 99 per cent dispatch reliability throughout the year.
“WestJet is extremely proud of its investments in its fleet of Canadian-made Bombardier Q400s,” said Duncan. “The Encore fleet represents one of the largest purchases of Ontario-made Q400 aircraft in the history of the province’s aerospace industry and supports some of the best manufacturing jobs in this critical sector of the Canadian economy.”
“Five years ago, WestJet Encore was born out of two Q400 aircraft on a Calgary airstrip. It was a small fleet at first, which soon became one of the fastest growing Q400 operators in the world,” said Fred Cromer, president, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
“Now ranking as the biggest Q400 operator in Canada and the fourth biggest worldwide, WestJet Encore remains a loyal partner of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, showcasing the true potential of Canadian civil aviation and aerospace.”
WestJet Encore launched on Monday, June 24, 2013. The day of the launch, Encore had 10 departures offering non-stop service between Calgary and Nanaimo, B.C.; Calgary and Fort St. John, B.C.; Vancouver and Fort St. John; and, Calgary and Saskatoon, Sask.
Five years later, WestJet Encore operates a fleet of 47 Canadian-made Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft and serves 34 Canadian cities as well as Boston, Myrtle Beach and Nashville.