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WestJet Launches Encore – Cheap Travel Within Western Canada

Canadian passengers flying out of YVR will see some financial relief from rising airfares this summer as WestJet’s new Encore regional service takes flight in June. The airline will add Fort St. John, B.C. to its network and use the first two 78-seat Bombardier Q400s on routes between Vancouver and Victoria, and Calgary to Nanaimo, B.C. Additional routes will be added as it takes delivery of five more planes by the end of the year.

WestJet says its entry into a new market typically lowers fares by up to 50 per cent and the arrival of Encore is already causing Air Canada to respond with its own fare cuts on some of the routes.

WestJet Encore’s introductory fare on the Fort St. John routes to Vancouver and to Calgary are $109 plus taxes, or up to about $172. Air Canada is lowering its one-way fare including taxes by about 40 per cent to $225 from up to $372 before Encore arrives. The current fare for flights this month is even higher.

Introductory fares for the quick flight between B.C’s capital and Vancouver will be $49 plus taxes (or up to about $87), while flights to Nanaimo will be $79 plus taxes (up to about $140). The airline has firm orders for 20 Q400s and options for 25 more planes over the next six years.

After increasing its regional service in the West, WestJet plans to introduce Encore to Eastern Canada in about nine to 12 months.

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