WestJet Encore to get first Q400 on 7 June

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WestJet Encore expects its first Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop to arrive in Calgary on 7 June, says WestJet's president and chief executive Gregg Saretsky during the airline's annual shareholder meeting in Calgary today.

The new regional airline will receive another Q400 ahead of its launch on 24 June and plans to receive a total of seven in 2013.

The airline will initiate service to Fort St. John and Nanaimo, British Columbia, and will offer daily service between Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.

WestJet Encore has 20 firm commitments for the 78-seat turboprops, with options for an additional 25 aircraft between 2014 and 2018.

WestJet Encore will have a separate operating certificate and staff from its parent airline, but will also maintain a headquarters in Calgary. WestJet is planning to expand Encore service to eastern Canada within nine months of its launch.