In February 2012, WestJet announced that its employees approved forming a regional airline to serve smaller communities in Canada. The airline commenced operations on June 24, 2013, using a fleet of 2 Bombardier Q400s with options for up to 45 by the end of 2018. The company launched WestJet Encore in the Western half of the country first, then expanded the service into the remainder of Canada a year later. The initial schedule was announced on February 11, 2013.
WestJet Encore was launched from its Calgary base. The first new destinations announced were Fort St. John and Nanaimo, both in British Columbia, followed by Brandon, Manitoba. Service from the eastern base, Toronto Pearson International Airport, began on June 27, 2014. Flights to its first international destination, Boston Logan International Airport, began on March 15, 2016.