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WestJet wants to launch regional carrier by 2013

WestJet announced its employees have voted overwhelmingly, 91 per cent, in favour of the launch of a regional airline.

"The opportunity presented to WestJetters has been very well received and I thank them for their input and consideration in this important matter," said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet president and CEO. "Clearly, WestJetters have recognized and embraced that the service we have provided for 16 years is in demand in even more communities across Canada. Bringing WestJet to these communities will benefit Canadians while providing increased shareholder value. We now look forward to planning the launch of this new airline as early as 2013."

With approval from the Board of Directors to proceed with implementation of a low-cost regional airline, WestJet will move to the next stage of planning by sending requests for proposals to two aircraft manufacturers: Bombardier for the Q400 NextGen and ATR for the ATR 72-600.

A social media movement in Penticton and surrounding area has started to try and gain attention from WestJet since they announced they were considering a regional carrier. The Facebook group Bring WestJet to Penticton, has 1,117 members as of Wednesday morning. Residents of the area also have been using Twitter to start a conversation using #WestJetPenticton.

For more on this story check Friday's Penticton Western News or return to www.pentictonwesternnews.com.

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