Bombardier Commercial Aircraft celebrated today the delivery of its 500th Q400 turboprop aircraft to Calgary-based WestJet Encore. The milestone aircraft is one of 36 ordered by WestJet Encore and its parent company WestJet.
During a special ceremony held at Bombardier’s 1.7 million square-foot Toronto facility, where the Q400 aircraft is manufactured, more than 500 WestJetters, Bombardier employees and special guests from the federal and provincial governments were in attendance to celebrate the handover activities.
“Bombardier’s Q400 aircraft has played an instrumental role in WestJet Encore’s growth and success since the start of our operations just two years ago – having recently expanded service to 24 cities in seven provinces in this short time,” said Ferio Pugliese, President, WestJet Encore. “We are thrilled to take home the 500th Canadian-made Q400 aircraft and to have it join our 21-aircraft fleet as we continue to expand to Eastern Canada, expanding route possibilities in those local communities. The Q400 aircraft’s jet-like speed, operational efficiency and reduced environmental footprint fit perfectly with our business model, bringing value and comfort alike to our guests.”
“The Q400 aircraft is proving its operational flexibility right here at home with Canada’s regional airlines, and is also one of Ontario’s greatest export successes,” said Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “We are proud to be celebrating the delivery of the 500th Q400 aircraft today, and to be sharing this momentous occasion with WestJet Encore — Canada’s newest airline, and latest aviation success story.”
WestJet Encore launched service in June 2013 operating 10 departures daily to two destinations with two Q400 aircraft and 131 employees. Today, it services 24 cities in seven provinces with 114 daily departures with 21 Q400 aircraft and approximately 500 employees. The airline recently launched Edmonton-Kamloops, Toronto-Québec City, and Toronto-Fredericton services. In July, it will launch Halifax-Sydney service.