- WestJet has exercised five options on Q400 aircraft for its Encore regional service.
Westjet has exercised options on five more Q400 turboprops for its regional carrier Encore and when the planes are delivered in 2015 the fleet will number 25.
The company also has 20 more options it can exercise from 2016 to 2018 as it broadens its reach into markets that don’t profitably sustain Boeing 737 jet service.
“While the Q400 NextGen aircraft is well known for its efficiency on short-haul missions, we have also been able to leverage its jet-like speed to reach new destinations and connect cities further apart, and this will be instrumental as we look to expand Encore’s service offering to our guests in Eastern Canada,” WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky said in a statement.
Of course, as Encore moves east, a prime market at Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre Airport becomes attainable with the Q400s. Westjet’s 737s aren’t allowed into Billy Bishop but Encore could compete directly with Porter Airlines and Air Canada in the increasingly important market. The Q400 can reach most major markets in eastern Canada and the U.S. Eastern Seaboard from Billy Bishop.
Encore now flies as far east as Toronto but most of its 16 destinations are in western Canada.