News Releases

WestJet announces July load factor of 76.4 per cent
Canada NewsWire

CALGARY, Aug. 6 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced July traffic results with a load factor of 76.4 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPM) decreased 4.5 per cent year over year and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASM), declined 0.4 per cent over the same period.

"We are encouraged by the number of people travelling on WestJet flights this year, and we feel honoured that every year a greater percentage of Canadians choose to fly with us," said Sean Durfy, WestJet President and CEO. "Our Care-antee and trusted brand are critical in providing peace of mind and a human touch to our guests in these uncertain times. Thank you to all of our WestJetters for continuing to build and deliver on our great reputation every day."

                          July 2009 traffic results

                            July 2009           July 2008          Change
    Load factor                76.4%               79.7%          (3.3 pts.)
    ASMs (billions)            1.552               1.558            (0.4%)
    RPMs (billions)            1.186               1.242            (4.5%)

                           Year-to-date        Year-to-date         Change
                               2009                2008
    Load factor                78.0%               80.5%          (2.5 pts.)
    ASMs (billions)           10.224               9.858             3.7%
    RPMs (billions)            7.973               7.939             0.4%

In July, WestJet announced its largest-ever seasonal non-stop flight schedule with eight new international destinations and three additional U.S. destinations for the winter of 2009-2010. The new destinations are: Varadero, Holguin and Cayo Coco, Cuba; Ixtapa and Cozumel, Mexico; St. Martin/St. Maarten; Turks and Caicos; Freeport, Bahamas; Lihue (Kauai), Hawaii; Miami, Florida; and Atlantic City, New Jersey. WestJet Vacations offers customized vacation packages to all of WestJet's southern destinations, including these new additions.

"Bookings into our 11 new sun-spot destinations this winter are encouraging to date," added Sean Durfy. "With the added value that WestJet and WestJet Vacations provide to our guests, we are confident that these new additions to our network will be winners."

"We are always looking at ways to expand our value proposition for our guests, and we are ecstatic about launching our new travel rewards credit card prior to year-end," commented Sean Durfy. "We encourage people to wait and see our card offering before making credit card choices and, when the card is launched, to consider switching."

"For the third quarter of 2009, we are seeing revenue per available seat mile (RASM) declines continuing at similar declines from the second quarter year-over-year results. Although there have been some early indications that the economy may be improving, the airline industry typically lags economic improvement by six or more months," stated Sean Durfy. "As we move into the second half of 2009, we are continuing to assess both our capacity and where we deploy our aircraft."

This disclosure contains forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements regarding WestJet's winter schedule, booking volume to new destinations and the launch of WestJet's new travel rewards credit card and projected RASM for the third quarter of 2009. These forward-looking statements are based on WestJet's current assumptions and beliefs. 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, ability to reach definitive agreement with counterparties and other factors described in WestJet's public reports and filings, which are available on WestJet's profile at 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 preferred airline, offering scheduled service throughout its 66-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, leather seats and live seatback television provided by Bell TV on its modern fleet of 79 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. 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.