News

WestJet tags a name on regional carrier being courted by Penticton

Dancers from Okanagan Dance Studios lead the charge for a dance mob at Penticton Airport earlier this year, with about 500 people gathering to show how happy they would be if WestJet came to Penticton. - Steve Kidd/Western News
Dancers from Okanagan Dance Studios lead the charge for a dance mob at Penticton Airport earlier this year, with about 500 people gathering to show how happy they would be if WestJet came to Penticton.
— image credit: Steve Kidd/Western News

The WestJet regional airline service Penticton has been courting will announce the first group of communities they will serve in early 2013.

WestJet announced on Thursday that the name of its new regional airline will be WestJet Encore. A contest was held for employees to submit names and then a vote was taken to determine the winner.

"We are excited to launch WestJet Encore, leveraging the phenomenal strength of the WestJet brand delivered through our WestJetters," said Bob Cummings, WestJet executive vice-president, sales, marketing and guest experience. "Encore reinforces that our WestJetters are ready to repeat the success of WestJet, liberating Canadians in many communities from the high cost of travel."

WestJet said in the press release they will announce a schedule for the first group of communities that will receive regional service in early 2013. The WestJet Encore air service is expected to get off the ground in the second-half of 2013 with a fleet of Bombardier Q400s.

In June, City of Penticton officials met with WestJet to give an in-person presentation at its Calgary headquarters in relation to the launch of its new regional carrier. Community members and city officials have put together several campaigns to catch the attention of WestJet including an online petition, flooding Twitter with the hashtag WestJetPenticton, proclaiming Penticton be named WestJetville on June 28, a flashmob that was filmed and distributed on YouTube, a presentation of results from an airport survey/study and letters of support from different levels of government throughout the South Okanagan Similkameen.

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