News Releases

WestJet reports record December load factor of 83.6 per cent

Airline increases traffic by 9.8 per cent and flies a record number of guests in December 

CALGARY, Jan. 11, 2018 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced December 2017 traffic results with a load factor of 83.6 per cent, an increase of 2.8 percentage points year over year. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 9.8 per cent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 6.0 per cent over the same period. The airline flew a record 2.1 million guests in December, a year-over-year increase of 10.0 per cent or approximately 190,000 additional guests.

"We are very pleased with our significant growth in traffic, as we reported a record December load factor and flew a record number of guests in December," said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. "I want to thank our more than 13,000 WestJetters for their efforts in providing our guests with a safe, caring and friendly travel experience through the extremely busy holiday season."

December 2017 traffic results

December 2017

December 2016


Load factor



2.8 pts

ASMs (billions)




RPMs (billions)




Fourth quarter 2017

Fourth quarter 2016


Load factor



2.4 pts

ASMs (billions)




RPMs (billions)




Full Year 2017

Full year 2016


Load factor



1.8 pts

ASMs (billions)




RPMs (billions)





In December, WestJet and Delta Air Lines announced an agreement to form a commercial joint venture which will offer customers access to an extensive transborder route network, world-class airline products, enhanced frequent flyer benefits, shared airport facilities and amenities, and a more seamless travel experience. The joint venture arrangement is subject to execution of definitive arrangements, board approvals and applicable regulatory approvals in Canada and the United States.

Caution regarding forward-looking information
Certain information set forth in this news release, including, without limitation, is "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, information respecting: the proposed joint venture and the parties' intention to deepen their existing partnership; the anticipated benefits, amenities, and product offerings expected to be provided to customers as a result of the joint venture; the resulting impact on flight schedules, and other network effects; and implementation of the joint venture following receipt of required approvals and execution of definitive agreements.

The forward-looking information contained in this document is based on certain material factors and assumptions, including, without limitation with respect to: the negotiation of definitive agreements relating to the joint venture on terms and conditions satisfactory to the parties; receipt, in a timely manner and on acceptable terms, of applicable regulatory approvals in respect of the transaction; board approvals being obtained; the anticipated benefits of the joint venture, including strategic and operational opportunities and benefits. Although WestJet believes that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward‐looking statements as WestJet can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct.

By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond WestJet's control. The risks and uncertainties that may impact WestJet include, but are not limited to: potential delays in obtaining applicable regulatory approvals; challenges to the proposed joint venture, or the imposition of conditions in respect thereof, by applicable regulatory authorities that reduce the anticipated benefits of the joint venture or prevent the implementation of such on satisfactory terms or at all; the ability of WestJet to successfully implement its strategic initiatives and whether such strategic initiatives will yield the expected benefits; the inherent uncertainties associated with new projects; changes in general economic and competitive conditions; operational risks inherent in implementing the joint venture including risks related to route scheduling and operations, network management, and information technology and reporting systems; and other factors and risks described in WestJet's public reports and filings. Readers are urged to consult the risks set forth in WestJet's annual information form and management's discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2016, which are each available under WestJet's profile on SEDAR at, for important additional information.

Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking information provided. WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking information as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.

About WestJet
WestJet is proud to be named Best Airline in Canada and one of the best Low Cost Airlines in North America, based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on Trip Advisor, the world's largest travel site. We are one of very few airlines globally that does not commercially overbook. Together with our regional airline, WestJet Encore, we offer scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 175 destinations in over 20 countries through our airline partnerships. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas.  Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacations packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods, and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of our partner airlines.

WestJet is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol WJA. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit  

Recent recognition includes:
2017 Five-Star Airline in the Low-Cost Category (The Airline Passenger Experience Association)
2017/2016 Canada's Most Trusted Airline (Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria)
2017 Best Airline in Canada and Travellers' Choice Winner Mid-Sized and Low Cost Airlines – North America (TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2016 Canada's most reputable company for Corporate Social Responsibility (Reputation Institute)
2016/2015/2014/2013/2012 Ranked top three for Canadian Brands (Canadian Business Magazine)
2016/2015/2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (MoneySense magazine)
2015/2011/2010/2008/2007/2006/2005 Canada's Most Admired Corporate Culture (Waterstone Human Capital)
2015 Best Employers in Canada (Aon Hewitt)

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For further information: WestJet Media Relations, 1-888-WJ-4-NEWS (1-888-954-6397), Email:, Website:; WestJet Investor Relations, 1-877-493-7853, Email: