WestJet anticipates lower fares for new regional carrier

Penticton hoping to land service to Calgary when WestJet announces new routes in January

WestJet said they expect to capture the regional airline market by offering “dramatically” lower fares than their competitor.

WestJet CEO Greg Saretsky told the Canadian Club in Montreal earlier this week that he will “liberate Canadians” from the high cost of air travel when they roll out their regional airline, WestJet Encore, early next year.

“We do expect the fares to be dramatically less than what is currently offered in the markets,” said Robert Palmer, WestJet media representative. “There is just one other airline flying at the moment and we do expect fares to be dramatically less than what is currently being charged to people in those communities.”

The City of Penticton has been lobbying WestJet to choose the city as one of the communities that will land the regional carrier and service to Calgary. Palmer said the first group of communities will be announced on Jan. 21.

“It will be in the news release we send out every January to announce the summer schedule, but in this particular case we will include the first group of communities that will be served by WestJet Encore,” said Palmer.

The announcement in January will include service to either western or eastern routes that would begin later in 2013. The plan is to then announce the schedules for the other half of the country nine months later.

In May, WestJet announced they selected Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. to supply up to 45 turboprop aircraft for its new regional airline. These will fly to new destinations not currently connected by WestJet and allow for schedule improvements on certain routes where a smaller aircraft can efficiently provide greater frequency. The planes have a 70 to 80-seat capacity.

Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton also has approached Air Canada, who currently fly out of the local airport with up to three flights a day to Vancouver. Ashton visited Air Canada’s head offices in Montreal in early November to also express the need for adding service to Calgary. Ashton told the Western News that AIr Canada was very receptive because of a positive report that detailed the potential of the Penticton airport.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long term care home over Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place care home declared over

‘This has been one of our most challenging outbreaks so far,’ says chief medical health officer

This is the location, 3240 Skaha Lake Road, of where BC Housing plans to build a four storey supportive housing project for the homeless and at risk of being homeless. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton mayor and MLA concerned about new homeless housing

BC Housing is holding a virtual info meeting Tuesday evening, Jan. 19

COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

The bus shelter across from the police detachment is one of ten smashed Jan. 17. (Monique Tamminga)
Glass smashed out of 10 bus shelters in Penticton

One of the bus shelters is right across from the RCMP detachment

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun in Salmon Arm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccinations underway in Salmon Arm

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun

Hillview Elementary students Emma Li and Mina Nadeau were awarded by the Premier’s office for winning the annual holiday card contest. (Karen Rogers photo)
North Okanagan students’ art featured on Premier’s cards

Hillview youth chosen for annual holiday card contest

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

This dog is going to the SPCA if its owner isn't found. (RDNO Dog Control photo)
Owners sought after dog ‘dumped’ near North Okanagan school

Pup is now either getting adopted or going to the SPCA

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Most Read