Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

WestJet unveils Encore flights to Thunder Bay

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WESTJET Airlines unveiled details Monday of the eastern expansion of its regional Encore service this summer that will include flights between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.

The Calgary-based airline said WestJet Encore will start June 27 with routes between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay. The airline has been growing its regional service since last June from its base in Western Canada.

WestJet did not say what additional routes would be added, but it is currently constrained by deliveries of 72-seat Q400 aircraft from Bombardier.

However, it expects about half of its four to six per cent capacity growth in 2014 will come from Encore.

Thunder Bay is the first Ontario city for Encore because it is an existing destination that is operating well and is within the plane's range.

Encore currently operates eight Bombardier Q400 aircraft but the company eventually plans to fly 45 planes to destinations in Canada and the United States.

"We are very focused on a slow and steady increase based on the initial success of WestJet Encore," spokesman Brie Thorsteinson Ogle wrote in an email. He declined to say when U.S. Encore service might begin.

WestJet also announced Monday that WestJet Encore will start flying between Fort McMurray, Alta., and Kelowna, B.C., and between Fort McMurray and Vancouver starting in May.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 21, 2014 B3

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