Today WestJet’s regional airline, WestJet Encore, will celebrate its third year in the skies. The airline, powered by Canadian-made Bombardier Q400 aircraft, recently broke the 6 million guests flown mark. Since its launch, Encore has been embraced by more than 30 Canadian communities seeking improved connectivity, lower fares and competitive air service.
We have had a dramatic impact on the new markets we have served since our launch three years ago. New WestJet Encore airports experience a 50 per cent increase in traffic on average, with some airports experiencing triple-digit percentage growth. Average fares in these same markets have fallen 20 to 40 per cent, year-over-year. We have created an entirely new set of air travellers, who may not have had the opportunity to fly before due to limited options and high fares. We are extremely proud of the accomplishments and hard work of more than a thousand WestJetters who have helped make WestJet Encore a success.
WestJet Encore launched on Monday, June 24, 2013 using two Bombardier Q400 aircraft. The day of the launch, we had 10 Encore 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. Today, three short years later, WestJet Encore will operate 188 flights to 32 destinations.
WestJet recently exercised our final nine options to bring our Bombardier Q400 order to a confirmed 45 aircraft. 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.
WestJet Encore remains committed to evolving our network offerings and our guest experience to guarantee that we are meeting the needs of all Canadian travellers. We’ve had an exceptional three years thanks to the guests and communities we serve and know that even better days are ahead.