WestJet selects Bombardier Q400 for new regional airline

Airline to take delivery of up to 45 new turboprop aircraft over the next six years

CALGARY, May 1, 2012 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced it has selected Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. to supply aircraft for its new regional airline, expected to launch in the second half of 2013. The airline will fly the Bombardier Q400 NextGen to new cities, existing destinations not currently connected by WestJet, and will allow for schedule improvements on certain routes where a smaller aircraft can efficiently provide greater frequency.

"We are very impressed with the Q400," commented Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. "Both ATR and Bombardier put forward excellent proposals and ultimately we believe the Bombardier Q400's combination of range, speed and seat density is the best choice to meet the needs of the market and how we plan to operate the regional airline. We look forward to working with another great Canadian company."

"This is a very proud day for Bombardier," said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "We are thrilled that WestJet has selected the Q400 NextGen aircraft for its fleet expansion requirements. The Q400 NextGen aircraft has long been recognized as the turboprop best suited to perform in the robust Canadian and U.S. landscape and environments. Our new-generation turboprop aircraft fits perfectly into this iconic Canadian airline's brand and we are pleased to welcome WestJetters and their guests to our Bombardier family."

WestJet has signed a letter of intent to purchase 20 Q400s with the option to purchase a further 25 aircraft. The airline expects to announce its initial regional schedule using the Q400s later in 2012.

Forward-looking information advisory
This news release contains certain information and statements that may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. The use of any of the words ''expect", ''will", ''schedule'' and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking information. In particular, but without limiting the foregoing, this news release contains forward-looking information pertaining to: WestJet's expectation that it will launch its regional airline in the second half of 2013, the expectation that the regional airline will fly the Bombardier Q400 NextGen to new cities and existing destinations not currently connected by WestJet, the expectation that the regional airline and Bombardier Q400 NextGen will allow for schedule improvements on certain routes where a smaller aircraft can efficiently provide greater flight frequency, expected synergies between Bombardier's new-generation turboprop aircraft and WestJet's brand and its expectations for operation of the regional airline and WestJet's expectation that it will announce its initial schedule utilizing the Q400's later in 2012.

The forward-looking information contained in this news release reflects several material factors and expectations and assumptions of WestJet including, without limitation, WestJet's current strategic plan, capital budget and forecast, WestJet's analysis of the market for and requirements of its short-haul regional airline including fleet type and size and network design, WestJet's experience in creating and growing a low-cost domestic airline, and currently available implementation plans.

WestJet believes the material factors, expectations and assumptions reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable at this time but no assurance can be given that these factors, expectations and assumptions will prove to be correct. The forward-looking information included in this news release is not a guarantee of future performance and should not be unduly relied upon. Such information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information including, without limitation: general economic conditions, the competitive environment for a short-haul regional airline, regulatory requirements, aircraft manufacturer information, changes in domestic airline industry conditions, volatility of fuel prices, WestJet's ability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources, the improvements and synergies currently expected upon the launch of the regional airline using the Q400 may not occur in the manner or to the extent currently anticipated, the launch of the regional airline or the announcement of the regional airline flight schedule may not occur on the timelines currently anticipated, and other factors and risks described in WestJet's public reports and filings. WestJet's public reports and filings are available on WestJet's profile at www.sedar.com.

The forward-looking information contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this news release, and WestJet does not assume any obligation to publicly update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as may be required pursuant to applicable laws.

About WestJet
WestJet is Canada's preferred airline, offering scheduled service throughout its 76-city North American and Caribbean network. Inducted into Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame and named one of Canada's best employers, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. Named a J.D. Power 2011 Customer Service Champion, WestJet offers increased legroom and leather seats on its modern fleet of 98 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 37 aircraft through 2018, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.

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Media contact:
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