Bombardier announced today that Calgary-based WestJet Encore has signed a firm purchase agreement for five Q400 NextGen airliners.
This transaction is a conversion of a batch of five options booked by the carrier’s parent company WestJet and follows the first conversion of five option aircraft announced on March 27, 2014, bringing the number of option aircraft exercised to 10. The initial total of 25 option aircraft was part of the original contract announced on August 1, 2012, that included WestJet’s firm order for 20 Q400 NextGen airliners.
Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen airliner, the transaction announced today is valued at approximately $167 million US.
“With 13 Q400 NextGen aircraft now in service in just over a year, WestJet Encore’s inaugural year has been a success,” said Bob Cummings, Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Guest Experience, WestJet. “We are marching towards connecting more Canadians from coast to coast to more than 85 cities we serve, as well as our growing network of interline and codeshare partners. With the guest response we are seeing for WestJet Encore, we have confirmed five more option orders and look forward to saying ‘welcome aboard’ to even more guests in the future.”
“WestJet Encore has built a brand that consistently delivers on the WestJet promises of reliable, cost-efficient service in expanding communities and we are thrilled this iconic Canadian airline has placed another firm order to expand its fleet to 30 Q400 NextGen aircraft,” said Ryan DeBrusk, Regional Vice President, Sales – North America, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The addition of more Q400 NextGen turboprops speaks to the aircraft’s superior economics, outstanding fuel economy and excellent passenger comfort that have given Encore the flexibility to service a number of new routes and airports.”
“In just under four months, WestJet Encore has exercised a total of 10 Q400 NextGen option aircraft – thereby exemplifying the needs of today’s growth-minded airlines looking for the perfect balance of operating economics, flexibility, passenger comfort and unsurpassed environmental credentials,” said Ray Jones, Senior Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Asset Management, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “Already recognized for efficiency on short-haul missions, WestJet Encore’s Q400 NextGen aircraft are using their jet-like speeds to feed WestJet’s mainline operations with reliability that’s remarkably high and amongst the best in the worldwide fleet. All this has been achieved in WestJet Encore’s inaugural year, so I’m delighted to offer hearty congratulations to the entire team on this accomplishment.”
WestJet Encore launched in June 2013 operating 10 departures daily to two destinations with two Q400 NextGen aircraft and 131 employees. Today, it operates 90 departures daily from hubs in Calgary, Alberta and Toronto, Ontario to 19 destinations with 13 Q400 NextGen aircraft and approximately 500 employees. The airline has announced plans to introduce service to Québec City, Québec; Fredericton, New Brunswick and Penticton, British Columbia in 2015.