WestJet reports record February load factor of 83.6 per cent

Mar 03, 2011, 08:30 ET from WestJet

Airline reports a 12.2 per cent increase in revenue passenger miles

CALGARY, March 3 /PRNewswire/ - WestJet today announced February traffic results with a load factor of 83.6 per cent, up 1.1 points year over year. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 12.2 per cent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 10.7 per cent over the same period.

"We ended February by celebrating an important milestone for WestJet, our 15th birthday, and I thank all WestJetters for their ongoing commitment to delivering a great experience to a record number of guests," said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky.

                        February 2011 traffic results

                       February 2011      February 2010          Change
    Load factor            83.6%               82.5%            1.1 pts.
    ASMs (billions)        1.633               1.475              10.7%
    RPMs (billions)        1.364               1.216              12.2%

                     Year-to-date 2011  Year-to-date 2010        Change
    Load factor            80.6%               80.6%                -
    ASMs (billions)        3.399               3.065              10.9%
    RPMs (billions)        2.738               2.470              10.9%

The increase in capacity has been directed towards WestJet's transborder and international routes. WestJet's sun-destinations remain popular choices as guests continue to seek refuge from the cold Canadian winter.

Overall year-to-date consumer demand has been strong which has supported the fare increases needed to help offset rising fuel costs. "Business bookings continue to show strength as we move forward in 2011," commented Gregg Saretsky. "The recent announcement of our code-share agreement with American Airlines will attract more business travellers, and support our upcoming schedule and service increases into the eastern triangle."

Caution regarding forward-looking statements

Certain information set forth in this press release, including information regarding WestJet's southern destination activity levels, demand for air travel, pricing, code-share arrangement benefits, and growth plans contains forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's control. These forward-looking statements are based on WestJet's existing strategy and currently available implementation plans, agreements and bookings, but may vary due to factors including, but not limited to, changes in guest demand, competitive environment and general economic conditions. These and additional risk factors are discussed in WestJet's most recent Annual Information Form (AIF) and in other documents WestJet files from time to time with securities regulatory authorities, which are available through the Internet on WestJet's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking statements. WestJet does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, except as is required by law.

About WestJet

WestJet is Canada's favourite airline, offering scheduled service throughout its 71-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, leather seats and live seatback television provided by Bell TV on its modern fleet of 93 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 42 aircraft through 2018, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.

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