Two communities land WestJet Encore

At least two communities know they have landed the new WestJet Encore regional carrier.

WestJet said they will announce details about their new regional airline on Monday but at least two communities know they have landed the carrier.

On Sunday, WestJet.com was allowing people to book flights from Fort St. John to Calgary or Vancouver and Nanaimo to Calgary via the Encore service.

Penticton was vying to land the regional carrier and the city and residents launched a number of initiatives to catch WestJet’s attention including a viral video and a social media campaign. In June representatives from the City of Penticton went to Calgary to make their pitch to WestJet executives armed with a airport survey/study in their presentation. A total of 33 communities including Cranbrook, Brandon, Man. and Medicine Hat, Alta, also gave similar in-person pitches at WestJet’s Calgary headquarters.

Encore will use WestJet’s newly added Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft that seats 78 people with two seats on either side of the aisle. WestJet ordered 20 of the planes with options for 25 more and have plans to have those all operational by 2018. It has been reported that WestJet will start Encore flights with a fleet of seven planes and make decisions on communities a couple at a time.

WestJet previously announced they would launch Encore from either the west or east of the country first, then later add flights to provide service from coast to coast.