News Releases

WestJet Leads North American Airline Industry in Percentage Earnings

WestJet also honoured with Most Admired Corporate Culture Award in Canada
and is in the Top Three of Best-Managed Canadian Brands in 2006

CALGARY, Nov. 16 /CNW/ - WestJet (TSX:WJA) is North America's most
financially successful airline, leading the industry in percentage earnings
after reporting record third quarter earnings margin. Based on reported 2006
third quarter results, WestJet's pre-tax margin is 16 per cent, outperforming
all other North American carriers on a percentage basis. WestJet's available
seat mile (ASM) growth for the third quarter was 17.3%, placing the airline
among the top North American carriers for seat capacity growth.
As WestJet proceeds through the fourth quarter, the Company anticipates
similar year over year revenue per available seat mile, driven by load factor
and fare levels, with a 23% increase in seat miles flown year over year.
Seasonally, WestJet matches capacity with demand, thereby achieving
strong load factors and yield. "Our success this year and particularly in the
third quarter is a clear indication that our network deployment approach is
working and on track," said Chris Avery, Director, Network and Schedule
"WestJet leads the North America airline industry in earnings margin due
to our successful implementation of the three key elements of our plan -
strategic network deployment, award-winning corporate culture and guest
service, and our consistent alignment with our low cost business model," said
Sean Durfy, President. "I am pleased with the efforts and commitment of our
5,400 employees who embody our values and help us to achieve these financial
goals and contribute daily in creating our fun and friendly company. WestJet
has fostered a unique friendly and caring culture for its guests and its
people that sets us apart in corporate Canada."
In the 2006 Canadian Corporate Culture Study™ conducted by Waterstone
Human Capital, WestJet won the award for Most Admired Corporate Culture for
the second year in a row as selected by over 185 top executives across Canada.
WestJet's Sales Super Centre was also recently named Best Call Centre in the
country in an airline survey conducted by Canadian Business Magazine's
consumer reports department. WestJet was also among the top three of Canada's
Best Managed Brands in an annual survey conducted by Cundari SFP and Canadian
Business Magazine up from seventh place a year ago.
"The strength of our corporate culture is a fundamental competitive
advantage. We strive to maintain this culture, where employees are committed
to living the values, and passionately pursuing the company's objectives and
mission," said Bob Cummings, Executive Vice President, Guest Experience and
Marketing. "As we approach 2007, I look forward to WestJet's continued
financial success. With recent trends in consumers taking mini vacations as
well as decreasing fuel prices, WestJet is well-positioned to take advantage
of these trends and continue to deliver solid performance."
Marking its tenth anniversary this year, WestJet is Canada's leading
low-fare airline offering scheduled service throughout its 35-city North
American and Caribbean network. Named Canada's most admired corporate culture
in 2006, WestJet pioneered low-cost high-value flying in Canada. With
increased legroom and leather seats on its modern fleet of Boeing
Next-Generation 737 aircraft, and live seatback television provided by Bell
ExpressVu on the majority of its fleet, WestJet strives to be the number one
choice for travellers.
A chart outlining comparative pre-tax margin for North American carriers
in the third quarter is available on CCNMatthews' website: