Canada
Westjet reveals first regional destinations

Credits: REUTERS/Todd Korol/Files

SHAWN LOGAN | QMI AGENCY

CALGARY – There will be many Encore visits after WestJet's new regional carrier touched down at its first two destinations Monday.

The Calgary-based airline announced a pair of B.C. cities, Fort St. John and Nanaimo, will be the inaugural destinations for its daily regional airline dubbed Encore.

While the service won't officially begin until June 24, the two cities got a sneak peek Monday with one of Encore's 78-seat Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft landing at both airports after taking off from Calgary at 8:13 a.m. with 50 passengers.

WestJet spokesman Robert Palmer, speaking from Nanaimo where the flight was met by a Stampede-themed welcoming party, said the regional network will expand beyond the first two cities by the end of the year.

"As we've said all along, as we take delivery of additional aircraft we'll add additional communities to the list," he said.

The regional carrier is slated to get its first two aircraft just in time for its launch and will add five more by the end of the year.

In total, WestJet has ordered 20 of the Canadian-built aircraft with an option to purchase 25 more over the next six years.

Palmer said the airline expects to announce at least one more destination for Encore in the coming months.

WestJet Monday also announced non-stop daily service from Calgary to Dallas-Fort Worth, TX and twice weekly flights from Toronto's Pearson International Airport to tourist hotspot Myrtle Beach, SC.

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