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WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky gave a year end interview to the Globe and Mail outlining the company’s vision for 2012 and their future expansion plans.

In the interview, Saretsky says WestJet is looking seriously at expanding beyond their fleet of only Boeing 737’s aircraft to include smaller jets that would service smaller markets such as Fort St. John.

Saretsky is quoted in the article, “We’ve built out almost as much as we can the 737 footprint in Canada, serving all the markets within the mission range and capability of the 737… We need to fly into small communities, and if we bring airfares down, we can get a lot of travellers. You have to build out the home market first.”

Westjet is reportly looking at the Bombardier Q400 or the ATR 72 as potential aircraft for the expansion. Both planes seat between 70-80 passengers. The larger Boeing 737 aircraft seat between 119 and 166 passengers.

Although Saretsky makes it clear that the company has not officially decided to acquire smaller planes, he favours expansion inside of Canada with a smaller aircraft before expanding to more overseas destinations.

If WestJet decides to order new aircraft, it would take between 12-18 months for delivery, which means air travel competition in Fort St. John could still still take a while if WestJet decides to go ahead with the expansion.

To read the full article, click here.

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