TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 27, 2014) - 2014 FIDAE Air Show - Bombardier Aerospace announced today that Calgary-based WestJet Encore Ltd. has signed a firm purchase agreement for five Q400 NextGen airliners. This transaction is a conversion of five of the 25 options booked by the carrier's parent company WestJet and announced on August 1, 2012 along with 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.
"In just under one year, WestJet Encore has re-shaped the regional aircraft market in western Canada - opening new destinations and feeding traffic to WestJet's mainline network - all on the strength of WestJetters and the Q400 NextGen aircraft," said Gregg Saretsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, WestJet. "While the Q400 NextGen aircraft is well known for its efficiency on short-haul missions, we have also been able to leverage its jet-like speed to reach new destinations and connect cities further apart, and this will be instrumental as we look to expand Encore's service offering to our guests in eastern Canada."
"Since its inception, Encore has consistently delivered on the successful WestJet brand - including reliable, cost-efficient service - that our guests have come to expect, along with much needed connectivity in new and expanding communities," added Ferio Pugliese, Executive Vice President, WestJet and President, WestJet Encore. "The Q400 NextGen aircraft's superior economics, outstanding fuel economy and excellent passenger comfort have given Encore the flexibility to service a number of new routes and airports, and we are very proud of how the aircraft has been warmly embraced by WestJetters alongside WestJet's enhanced overall value in the market."
"WestJet Encore, which exemplifies today's growth-minded airlines looking for the perfect balance of operating economics, flexibility, passenger comfort and unsurpassed environmental credentials, is confirming that the Q400 NextGen airliner is the way to go," said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "I am delighted that the addition of five new Q400 NextGen aircraft will serve to diversify Encore's route network further and will position it well as it seeks to enter new markets."
WestJet Encore has introduced service to Fort St. John, Nanaimo and Terrace, British Columbia; Brandon, Manitoba, and has added turboprop service to WestJet's existing western route network serving Winnipeg, Manitoba; as well as Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan. Starting this spring, WestJet Encore will also service Fort McMurray, Alberta; Kelowna, British Columbia; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and - operating from a new hub at Lester B. Pearson International Airport - will provide service between Toronto and Thunder Bay in Ontario.
About Q400 NextGen aircraft
The Q400 NextGen aircraft, which is built at Bombardier's Toronto, Ontario facility, is the most recent development in the evolution of the Q400 aircraft, an all-new design that entered service in 2000 to address the needs of the evolving market. Optimized for short-haul operations, the Q400 aircraft is large, fast, quiet and fuel efficient. It provides an ideal balance of passenger comfort and operating economics with a reduced environmental footprint. In its extra capacity configuration, which provides seats for up to 86 passengers, the Q400 aircraft provides up to a 17 per cent seat-cost advantage for operators.
The Q400 airliner is the fastest new-technology turboprop, providing both jet speed and turboprop fuel efficiency. The aircraft therefore delivers the best flexibility and overall operating economics in its market segment, allowing airlines to successfully deploy it in a variety of markets ranging from typical short-haul turboprop markets to longer-haul jet replacement opportunities.
Including WestJet's order, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for a total of 491 Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft. Worldwide, Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft have transported more than 295 million passengers and have logged over 4.7 million flight hours and more than 5 million take-offs and landings. The Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft program includes over 50 customers and operators in over 30 countries on five continents.
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Notes to editors
Images of Q400 NextGen aircraft in WestJet's livery are posted with this press release at bombardier.com
Additional information on the Q400 NextGen aircraft is available at q400nextgen.com.
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Bombardier, NextGen, Q400 and The Evolution of Mobility are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.