Calgary-based WestJet Encore Ltd. has signed a firm order for five Bombardier Q400 turboprop regional airliners.
In announcing the order at the Paris Air Show 2015 on June 15, the show’s first day, Bombardier Aerospace revealed WestJet Encore had also signed a firm order for another Q400 in March.
These orders, for a total of six aircraft, are conversions of options previously booked by the carrier’s parent company WestJet Airlines, according to Bombardier Aerospace.
Based on the list price of the Bombardier Q400, the manufacturer values WestJet Encore’s latest Q400 orders at approximately US$200 million.
“In 24 months, WestJet Encore has successfully launched Canada’s newest regional airline, bringing WestJet’s caring service and low fares to more communities,” says Ferio Pugliese, president of WestJet Encore.
“As the backbone of our expansion, the Q400 offers both jet-like performance and turboprop economics, providing us with the consistent guest and in-flight experience that allows us to integrate the WestJet brand into our regional airline,” adds Pugliese.
“WestJet Encore continues to build momentum within the Canadian regional aircraft market,” says Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “Through its diversified and growing route networks, it has used the Q400 aircraft to serve 24 cities in seven provinces since launching its operations.”
“Later this month, WestJet Encore will take delivery of the 500th Bombardier Q400 aircraft,” adds Cromer.
(Under the new stewardship of Cromer, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft appears quietly to have dropped the awkward ‘Q400 NextGen’ nomenclature for its updated Q400. However, it hasn’t yet dropped the even more awkward practice of inserting the word ‘aircraft’ after every mention of any of its aircraft models.)
WestJet Encore launched service in June 2013, operating 10 departures daily to two destinations with two Bombardier Q400 turboprop regional airliners and 131 employees.
Today, WestJet Encore serves 24 cities in seven Canadian provinces with 114 daily departures, operated by 21 Q400 aircraft. The airline now has approximately 500 employees.
WestJet Encore recently launched Edmonton-Kamloops, Toronto-Québec City, Toronto-Fredericton and Halifax-Sydney, Nova Scotia services.
Including its latest orders for six aircraft, WestJet Encore has orders outstanding for 25 new Q400s, in addition to the 21 it already has in service.
Bombardier has now recorded firm orders for a total of 546 Q400 regional airliners.