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WestJet firms up order for five Bombardier Q400 aircraft

WestJet has converted an option for five Q400 aircraft to a firm order. The turboprop aircraft will be delivered in 2015.

Larry MacDougal/THE CANADIAN PRESS

WestJet Airlines Ltd. has converted five options for Bombardier Inc. Q400 airplanes to firm orders as the airline's Encore network expands.

The planes, which are scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2015, will raise Encore's fleet to 25 of the turbroprops from the planned level of 20. The budget division of WestJet has nine Q400 planes flying now.

WestJet has options on another 20 Q400s that can be converted into firm orders for delivery between 2016 and 2018.

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"These aircraft will serve new markets, increase frequencies between existing cities and strengthen our network," Encore president Ferio Pugliese said in a statement Thursday.

Encore anticipates growth to U.S. destinations, he added.

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