Friday, October 12, 2012

West Jet announces name of regional airline, but no destinations just yet

They have a name, but West Jet is keeping close to its vest any announcements of destinations for their newly created regional airline.

The name of the new airline as outlined in a Media Release from Thursday will be West Jet Encore, selected after a vote by West Jet employees. The popular favourite of the 842 submissions provided to West Jet management since the company announced the prospect of a new regional airline.

West Jet plans on using the Bombardier Q400 turboprop as part of the new airline, an initial order of 20 planes has been placed with Bombardier, with an anticipation of service to start up in the last half of 2013.

The lobbying has been fierce over the last few months, as communities across Canada seek to lure the regional offering from West Jet to their home town.

Some of those communities have been courting West Jet harder than others, Nanaimo used an extensive social media campaign to get their location fixed on the West Jet radar, Brandon Manitoba residents put their computers to work collecting over 10,000 signatures on an online petition for the airline. While Penticton changed its name for one day, calling itself "WestJetville" to show its interest.

Locally, both Prince Rupert and Terrace airport officials made presentations to West Jet seeking to have  the northwest added to the West Jet Encore flight itinerary, each community hopeful that it can lay claim to the West Jet brand in the Northwest.

WestJet eyes Terrace for Northwest entry point
WestJet considers expansion plans

It's anticipated that early next year West Jet  will announce the successful applicants for the first wave of West Jet Encore destinations.

The Vancouver Sun-- WestJet's new regional airline named Encore
CBC-- WestJet Encore name of new regional service
Globe and Mail-- WestJet names its new regional service WestJet Encore
CTV News-- WestJet names new regional service WestJet Encore

A full review of air transportation in the Northwest can be found on our archive page

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