News Releases

WestJet announces April load factor of 81.2 per cent
Canada NewsWire

Airlines revenue passenger miles increase 5.5 per cent

CALGARY, May 5 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced April traffic results with a load factor of 81.2 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPM) increased 5.5 per cent year over year and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASM), grew 7.2 per cent over the same period.

"Given the difficult economic environment, we are positive about our April traffic results," commented Sean Durfy, WestJet President and CEO. "These results, which benefited from Easter travel, were driven by our network expansion into sun destinations and significant support from WestJet Vacations in filling seats."

Sean Durfy also commented on how the airline is coping with the recent H1N1 influenza virus outbreak: "The safety of our guests and our WestJetters is our most important value at WestJet. With this top of mind, we decided to cease service to and from Mexico. Our tremendous team of WestJetters played a vital role in our ability to quickly and safely re-accommodate travellers. We are monitoring and adapting to the situation and feel fortunate that our corporate and financial strength, along with the commitment and dedication of our people, helps us better cope with these types of situations.

"During a period where trust and confidence are critical for consumer choice, our WestJet Care-antee is giving consumers assurance, while demonstrating our genuine guest focus and the ability of our company to deliver on these promises."

                         April 2009 traffic results
                                      April 2009    April 2008      Change
    Load factor                             81.2%         82.5%    (1.3 pts.)
    ASMs (billions)                        1.467         1.368           7.2%
    RPMs (billions)                        1.191         1.129           5.5%

                                     Year-to-date  Year-to-date
                                         2009          2008         Change
    Load factor                             80.6%         82.1%    (1.5 pts.)
    ASMs (billions)                        5.824         5.433           7.2%
    RPMs (billions)                        4.693         4.460           5.2%

"With the weakened economy, second quarter revenue per available seat mile (RASM) is tracking to year-over-year declines that are, at best, similar to what we experienced in the first quarter of 2009," added Sean Durfy. "The recent H1N1 influenza virus outbreak appears to be delaying some consumers' travel bookings; however, it is too early to determine how it will impact RASM. Despite these conditions, we are confident in our business model and our organization's ability to continue on our profitable path."

This disclosure contains forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, statements regarding projected RASM for the second quarter of 2009 and the potential impact of the H1N1 influenza virus outbreak. However, these forward-looking statements are subject to, and may be affected by, numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's control. WestJet's results may differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include but are not limited to: changes in consumer demand, changes in fuel prices, general economic conditions, the competitive environment and other factors described in WestJet's public reports and filings. Forward-looking statements are subject to change, and WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.

About WestJet

WestJet is Canada's leading high-value, low-cost airline offering scheduled service throughout its 55-city North American and Caribbean network. Named one of Canada's most admired corporate cultures in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. WestJet offers increased legroom and leather seats on its modern fleet of 79 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft and live seatback television provided by Bell TV. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 42 aircraft, bringing its fleet to 121 by 2013, WestJet strives to be the number one choice for travellers.