WestJet Encore, based at Calgary in Canada, signed a firm order for five Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft on 27 March 2014. It is the finalisation of 20 percent of the 25 options the carrier booked in August 2012, when WestJet made a firm deal for 20 Q400s as well.
Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen airliner, the transaction announced today is valued at approximately US$167 million. 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.
The Q400 NextGen aircraft, which is built at Bombardier’s facility in Toronto, Ontario, is the most recent version of the Dash 8. The first Q400 started flying in 2000, an aircraft for the short-haul market with a range of 1,567 miles (2,522 km). The Q400NG is the fastest turboprop-airliner around. It has a typical cruise speed of 360 knots (414 mph / 667 kmh) and a service ceiling of 27,000 ft.
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.