WestJet announced (07-Nov-2012) the appointment of Ferio Pugliese as CEO of WestJet Encore, effective immediately. Mr Pugliese previously served WestJet as EVP people, culture and inflight services. WestJet president and CEO Gregg Saretsky separately stated (07-Nov-2012) the launch of WestJet Encore remains on track for 2H2013. The initial flight schedule is expected to be released in early 2013 which will include the first group of new communities the new airline plans to serve. Calgary has been selected as the head office location for the new airline. Commenting on the launch, Mr Saretsky said, "Our strong brand epitomizes the very principles upon which WestJet was founded. This includes a low-cost focus and a caring guest experience which will be embodied in WestJet Encore. We are excited to bring even more Canadians access to lower fares, stimulate demand for air travel in smaller communities and repeat our success in the regional space." [more – original PR] [more - original PR - executive appointment]
WestJet Encore launch ontrack for 2H2013, appoints CEO
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In the midst of heightened scrutiny over its performance on long haul routes to London and its handling of economic weakness in Western Canada, WestJet has chosen to exercise options for an additional nine Bombardier Q400 turboprops – for operation by its regional subsidiary Encore. The options are the last that WestJet holds with the manufacturer, and once deliveries are complete in 2018 Encore will reach WestJet’s targeted maturity of 45 aircraft.
During its three years of existence Encore has grown rapidly, and now offers 168 daily flights to 36 destinations. WestJet’s execution in developing and growing Encore has largely been successful, stimulating traffic in smaller markets previously dominated by a single airline.
In addition to Encore’s expansion, WestJet continues to court business travellers through its enhanced Plus product while attempting to navigate a weak unit revenue environment. The airline believes its negative performance will improve sequentially through 2016, but it is unlikely that WestJet can achieve a positive result in that metric this year.
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