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WestJet reports November load factor of 75.9 per cent
Canada NewsWire

Airline's revenue passenger miles increase 3.1 per cent

CALGARY, Dec. 3 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced November traffic results with a load factor of 75.9 per cent, down slightly from last year's record level of 76.1 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPM) increased 3.1 per cent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASM), grew 3.4 per cent over the same period.

"These results indicate another solid performance during these tough times," commented WestJet President and CEO Sean Durfy. "We continue to be pleased with our ability to profitably weather the 2009 economic environment, while moving forward with our strategic plans. We implemented our new reservation system, in mid-October, representing a foundational step in achieving our future growth objectives."

"Regrettably, the transition has impacted the level of service that our guests have come to expect and deserve, and these service issues are carrying on longer then we originally anticipated," said Sean Durfy. "Delivering a great guest experience has always been, and continues to be, paramount to all of us at WestJet. In times of challenge, we are always grateful at how WestJetters rally to get things back on track as quickly as possible, and I thank them for their continued commitment. Improving this disruption in our quality of service is our number one priority. As such, we will now launch our new Frequent Guest and Credit Card programs after the busy holiday travel season is over and our guest experience returns to our high standards."

                        November 2009 traffic results

                        November 2009        November 2008           Change
    Load factor              75.9%                76.1%            (0.2 pts.)
    ASMs (billions)          1.434                1.387                 3.4%
    RPMs (billions)          1.089                1.056                 3.1%

                      Year-to-date 2009    Year-to-date 2008         Change
    Load factor              78.4%                80.0%            (1.6 pts.)
    ASMs (billions)         16.021               15.676                 2.2%
    RPMs (billions)         12.555               12.548                 0.1%

Sean Durfy continued, "Although difficult to quantify, we believe that the challenges experienced in the transition to the new reservation system will negatively impact our revenue this quarter. Currently, our revenue per available seat mile (RASM) for the fourth quarter of 2009 is tracking to an anticipated year-over-year decline of 11 to 13 per cent."

"We remain committed to our future growth initiatives and are confident that our increasing capabilities and brand strength will enable us to successfully launch new programs and destinations," added Sean Durfy. "We continue to expand our presence in the transborder market and have recently added Bermuda to our growing list of 20 destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico."

This disclosure contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements regarding the timing of its launch of the Frequent Guest and Credit Card programs and anticipated RASM for fourth 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, failure to successfully implement critical systems, general economic conditions, the competitive environment, possible pandemics 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 67-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 85 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 50 aircraft through 2016, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.

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