WestJet reports record December traffic results

Airline flies just under 1.4 million guests

CALGARY, Jan. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced record December 2011 traffic results with a load factor of 80.9 per cent, tying its second highest December load factor ever. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased eight per cent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 7.1 per cent over the same period.

"We finished the year with strong traffic results confirming that our capacity continues to be absorbed by the market. We flew nearly 1.4 million guests this month, a new December record," said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. "We also achieved a new single-day record by flying approximately 53,000 guests across our network on December 23. On a full-year basis, we have flown over 867,000 additional guests in 2011 versus last year and my thanks go to WestJetters for their unwavering commitment to caring for our guests during the very busy holiday travel period."

December 2011 traffic results
 
    December 2011     December 2010   Change
Load factor 80.9% 80.3% 0.6 pts.
ASMs (billions) 1.893 1.767 7.1%
RPMs (billions) 1.532 1.418 8.0%
 
  Fourth quarter
2011
Fourth quarter
2010
Change
Load factor 78.7% 78.5% 0.2 pts.
ASMs (billions) 5.329 5.021 6.1%
RPMs (billions) 4.194 3.942 6.4%
 
  Full-year 2011 Full-year 2010 Change
Load factor 79.7% 79.9%   (0.2 pts.)  
ASMs (billions) 21.186 19.535 8.5%
RPMs (billions) 16.891 15.613 8.2%

Due to strong bookings made and flown in December, WestJet anticipates that the year-over-year revenue per available seat mile (RASM) growth for the fourth quarter will now be closer to that achieved in the third quarter of 2011.

Today, WestJet launches a system-wide seat sale, one of its biggest sales of the year, featuring all-in advertising, thereby beginning the transition to a pricing approach where the final price of seats purchased will be more prominently displayed to the consumer. WestJet is the first airline in Canada to advertise with all-in pricing.

Caution regarding forward-looking statements
Certain information set forth in this press release, including information regarding expected RASM growth, contains forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's control. These forward-looking statements are based on WestJet's existing strategy and currently available implementation plans, agreements and bookings, but may vary due to factors including, but not limited to, changes in guest demand, regulatory and competitive environment and general economic conditions. These and additional risk factors are discussed in WestJet's most recent annual information form (AIF) and in other documents WestJet files from time to time with securities regulatory authorities, which are available under WestJet's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking statements. WestJet does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, except as is required by law.

About WestJet
WestJet is Canada's favourite airline, offering scheduled service throughout its 71-city North American and Caribbean network. Inducted into Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame and named one of Canada's best employers, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. WestJet offers increased legroom and leather seats on its modern fleet of 97 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 38 aircraft through 2018, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.

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SOURCE WestJet

For further information:

WestJet Media Relations
1-888-WJ-4-NEWS (1-888-954-6397)
Email: media@westjet.com
          WestJet Investor Relations
1-877-493-7853
Email: investor_relations@westjet.com

Website: www.westjet.com


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