WestJet today announced it has selected Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. to supply aircraft for its new regional airline, expected to launch in the second half of 2013. The airline will fly the Bombardier Q400 NextGen to new cities, existing destinations not currently connected by WestJet, and will allow for schedule improvements on certain routes where a smaller aircraft can efficiently provide greater frequency.
"We are very impressed with the Q400," commented Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. "Both ATR and Bombardier put forward excellent proposals and ultimately we believe the Bombardier Q400's combination of range, speed and seat density is the best choice to meet the needs of the market and how we plan to operate the regional airline. We look forward to working with another great Canadian company."
"This is a very proud day for Bombardier," said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "We are thrilled that WestJet has selected the Q400 NextGen aircraft for its fleet expansion requirements. The Q400 NextGen aircraft has long been recognized as the turboprop best suited to perform in the robust Canadian and U.S. landscape and environments. Our new-generation turboprop aircraft fits perfectly into this iconic Canadian airline's brand and we are pleased to welcome WestJetters and their guests to our Bombardier family."
WestJet has signed a letter of intent to purchase 20 Q400s with the option to purchase a further 25 aircraft. The airline expects to announce its initial regional schedule using the Q400s later in 2012.
Date: May 1, 2012