With the announcement that WestJet will be expanding its Encore service between Winnipeg and Regina, rumours are swirling in Brandon that the airline will add an eastern route out of Brandon.
Starting today, those travelling between Regina and Winnipeg will have another option for getting around. WestJet will fire up the engines on its regional air service — Encore — with daily direct flights between the Manitoba and Saskatchewan capitals.
The announcement ends a five-year hiatus of the service.
It’s expected WestJet will announce daily flights between Winnipeg and Saskatoon in the future, possibly as early as next month.
Fingers are crossed in the Wheat City as well, with travellers hoping to see a route from Brandon to Toronto added to Encore’s schedule.
"We are very pleased with the support that western Manitoba and Brandon has shown for the western route, and anticipate that there will be a similar level of support for an eastern route," Mayor Shari Decter Hirst said.
Daily WestJet service between Brandon and Calgary launched last summer and has proven to be a popular route among Westman travellers.
WestJet spokesperson Brie Ogle noted that WestJet Encore president Ferio Pugliese has stated "very publicly" that the company wants to look eastward in 2014.
"So whether that be the planning of it, getting the contacts in place or whether that means actually announcing service, I don’t have anything for you right now," Ogle said.
"Definitely the planning is there to add eastern points of access, we just don’t know what points of access those are going to be yet."
» Brandon Sun, with files from the Winnipeg Free Press