WestJet reports record fourth quarter net earnings

Declares a first quarter dividend of $0.05 per share

CALGARY, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - WestJet (TSX:WJA) today announced its fourth quarter and full-year results for 2010. The airline reported fourth quarter net earnings of $47.9 million, or $0.33 cents per diluted share. Excluding special items, this represents record fourth quarter net earnings and an increase of 217 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. WestJet reported full-year net earnings of $136.7 million, or $0.94 cents per diluted share.

"To finish 2010 with our 23rd consecutive profitable quarter, one in which we saw our net earnings increase 217 per cent, is an accomplishment we are all very proud of," commented WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. "These strong results would not have been possible without the dedication of the more than 8,000 WestJetters who are committed to the continued growth and success of our airline."

WestJet reported a fourth quarter operating margin of 11.4 per cent, compared to 6.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009. For the full year, WestJet achieved an operating margin of 9.5 per cent compared to a 2009 margin of 9.2 per cent, among the best performances of North American airlines.

    <<
              Operating highlights (stated in Canadian dollars)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Full-     Full-
                                                    year      year
                   Q4 2010   Q4 2009    Change      2010      2009    Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings
     (millions)      $47.9     $20.2    137.5%    $136.7     $98.2     39.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings,
     excluding
     special
     items*
     (millions)      $47.9     $15.1    216.8%    $142.8     $93.1     53.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Diluted earnings
     per share       $0.33     $0.14    135.7%     $0.94     $0.74     27.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Diluted earnings
     per share,
     excluding
     special
     items*        $0.33     $0.11    200.0%     $0.98     $0.71     38.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total revenues
     (millions)     $692.8    $570.0     21.5%  $2,609.3  $2,281.1     14.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating
     margin          11.4%      6.3%  5.1 pts.      9.5%      9.2%  0.3 pts.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASMs (available
     seat miles)
     (billions)      5.021     4.413     13.8%    19.535    17.588     11.1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RPMs (revenue
     passenger
     miles)
     (billions)      3.942     3.461     13.9%    15.613    13.835     12.9%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor      78.5%     78.4%  0.1 pts.     79.9%     78.7%  1.2 pts.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yield (revenue
     per revenue
     passenger
     mile) (cents)   17.58     16.47      6.7%     16.71     16.49      1.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RASM (revenue
     per available
     seat mile)
     (cents)         13.80     12.92      6.8%     13.36     12.97      3.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CASM (cost per
     available
     seat mile)
     (cents)         12.23     12.10      1.1%     12.09     11.77      2.7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CASM, excluding
     fuel and
     employee
     profit share
     (cents)*       8.51      8.67     (1.8%)     8.52      8.45      0.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Refer to reconciliations in the accompanying tables for further
        information regarding adjustments.
    >>

"The launch of our Frequent Guest and Credit Card programs and the ongoing additions to our airline partnerships are examples of how we are now capitalizing on the significant investment in our reservations systems," said Gregg Saretsky. "Revenue momentum is building and we will continue to exploit the opportunities that the new systems afford us, positioning us well for continued profitable growth."

WestJet grew throughout 2010; the airline increased capacity by 13.8 per cent in the fourth quarter and ended the year with an 11.1 per cent capacity increase. Traffic expansion was in line with the capacity increase in the fourth quarter and revenue per available seat mile (RASM) was up 6.8 per cent primarily due to the strengthening yield. Operational performance was equally strong with an 11.6 point increase in on-time performance and a 30.7 per cent improvement in baggage handling for the fourth quarter.

WestJet is expecting fuel costs, excluding hedging, to range between $0.82 and $0.84 per litre for the first quarter of 2011. "Our controllable costs remain in check and we feel our low-cost structure and fuel efficient fleet have us well equipped to withstand fuel price volatility," said Gregg Saretsky. "We also expect the positive RASM trend to continue into the first quarter of 2011 and estimate that year-over-year improvements will be roughly in line with those reported in the fourth quarter."

WestJet announced, as part of its ongoing fleet planning review, the deferral of six aircraft deliveries from 2012 (2), 2013 (1), 2014 (2) and 2015 (1) out to 2017 (3) and 2018 (3). "The decision to defer these aircraft deliveries increases the flexibility in our fleet plan and creates some additional pricing power for us at a time of rising fuel costs and global economic uncertainty, all without deviating from our long-term growth strategy. The entirety of our order with Boeing remains intact," commented Gregg Saretsky. "This revised delivery schedule allows us to better match the timing of those deliveries with the dates for potential lease returns which permits us to accelerate or decelerate capacity growth dependent on economic and market conditions."

WestJet's board of directors declared a cash dividend of $0.05 per common voting share and variable voting share for the first quarter of 2011, to be paid on March 31, 2011, to shareholders of record on March 16, 2011. All dividends paid by WestJet are, pursuant to subsection 89(14) of the Income Tax Act, designated as eligible dividends, unless indicated otherwise. An eligible dividend paid to a Canadian resident is entitled to the enhanced dividend tax credit.

Caution regarding forward-looking statements

Certain information set forth in this news release, including information regarding airline partnerships, revenue momentum, exploitation of opportunities from new systems, continued profitable growth, fuel costs for the first quarter of 2011, impact of our low-cost structure, anticipated increases in RASM in the first quarter of 2011, capacity to withstand fuel price volatility, aircraft delivery schedule and growth strategy and corporate vision, contain 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 currently available implementation plans, agreements and bookings, but may vary due to factors including, but not limited to, changes in consumer demand, changes in fuel prices, delays in aircraft delivery, changes in guest demand, general economic conditions, competitive environment, ability to effectively implement and maintain critical systems and other factors described in WestJet's public reports and filings, which are available on WestJet's profile 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, 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.

Management's Discussion & Analysis and the Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2010, are available on www.westjet.com or WestJet's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

Conference call

WestJet will hold its quarterly analysts' conference call today, February 9, 2011, at 7 a.m. MST (9 a.m. EST). President and CEO Gregg Saretsky and Executive Vice-President of Finance and CFO Vito Culmone will discuss WestJet's 2010 fourth quarter and year-end results and answer questions from financial analysts and members of the media. The conference call is available in Toronto by calling 647-427-7450 and outside Toronto through the toll-free telephone number 1-888-231-8191. The call can also be heard through an Internet webcast in the Media and Investor section of www.westjet.com.

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, leather seats and live seatback television provided by Bell TV on its modern fleet of 93 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 42 aircraft through 2018, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.

    <<
    Consolidated Statement of Earnings
    (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts)
    (Unaudited)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Three months ended         Twelve months ended
                               December 31                 December 31

                             2010         2009          2010         2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenues:
      Guest              $    641,905 $    528,104 $  2,405,281 $  2,067,860
      Other                    50,910       41,938      203,980      213,260
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              692,815      570,042    2,609,261    2,281,120
    Expenses:
      Aircraft fuel           179,276      148,853      674,608      570,569
      Airport operations      100,356       91,901      388,392      352,333
      Flight operations
       and navigational
       charges                 80,466       73,313      325,754      298,762
      Sales and
       distribution            67,048       50,383      255,777      172,326
      Marketing, general
       and administration      52,286       54,659      195,185      208,316
      Aircraft leasing         36,687       25,096      142,242      103,954
      Depreciation and
       amortization            32,686       36,836      132,894      141,303
      Inflight                 31,889       26,716      124,303      112,054
      Maintenance              25,875       23,884      100,339       96,272
      Employee profit
       share                    7,442        2,297       22,222       14,675
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              614,011      533,938    2,361,716    2,070,564
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings from
     operations                78,804       36,104      247,545      210,556

    Non-operating income
     (expense):
      Interest income           3,607        1,554        9,910        5,601
      Interest expense        (14,302)     (16,366)     (60,164)     (67,706)
      Loss on foreign exchange (1,347)        (754)        (780)     (12,306)
      Gain (loss) on
       disposal of property
       and equipment              (95)        (324)         190       (1,177)
      Gain (loss) on
       derivatives                365        2,817          (34)       1,828
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              (11,772)     (13,073)     (50,878)     (73,760)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings before income
     taxes                     67,032       23,031      196,667      136,796

    Income tax expense:
      Current                     458          588        1,573        2,690
      Future                   18,666        2,268       58,374       35,928
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               19,124        2,856       59,947       38,618
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings         $     47,908 $     20,175 $    136,720 $     98,178
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Earnings per share:
      Basic              $       0.33 $       0.14 $       0.94 $       0.74
      Diluted            $ 	  0.33 $       0.14 $       0.94 $       0.74
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Weighted average
     number of shares
     outstanding
     - basic              144,292,212  144,257,857  144,852,548  132,130,009
    Weighted average
     number of shares
     outstanding
     - diluted            144,559,472  144,328,206  145,119,896  132,261,770
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Consolidated Balance Sheet
    (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars)
    (Unaudited)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    December 31, December 31,
                                                       2010         2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Assets
    Current assets:
      Cash and cash equivalents                     $ 1,187,899 $  1,005,181
      Accounts receivable                                17,518       27,654
      Prepaid expenses, deposits and other               41,716       56,239
      Inventory                                          20,181       26,048
      Future income tax                                   1,396        2,560
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      1,268,710    1,117,682

    Property and equipment                            2,226,685    2,307,566

    Intangible assets                                    13,018       14,087

    Other assets                                         54,431       54,367
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    $ 3,562,844 $  3,493,702
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Liabilities and shareholders' equity
    Current liabilities:
      Accounts payable and accrued liabilities      $   303,583 $    231,401
      Advance ticket sales                              308,022      286,361
      Non-refundable guest credits                       36,778       64,506
      Current portion of long-term debt                 183,681      171,223
      Current portion of obligations under
       capital leases                                       108          744
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        832,172      754,235

    Long-term debt                                      863,496    1,048,554

    Obligations under capital leases                      3,249        3,358

    Other liabilities                                    18,838       19,628

    Future income tax                                   337,410      278,999
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      2,055,165    2,104,774

    Shareholders' equity:
      Share capital                                     647,637      633,075
      Contributed surplus                                62,534       71,503
      Accumulated other comprehensive loss              (10,470)     (14,852)
      Retained earnings                                 807,978      699,202
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      1,507,679    1,388,928

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    $ 3,562,844 $  3,493,702
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows
    (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars)
    (Unaudited)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Three months ended         Twelve months ended
                               December 31                 December 31

                             2010         2009          2010         2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Operating activities:
    Net earnings         $     47,908 $     20,175 $    136,720 $     98,178
    Items not involving
     cash:
      Depreciation and
       amortization            32,686       36,836      132,894      141,303
      Amortization of
       other liabilities         (455)      (5,846)      (1,891)      (7,595)
      Amortization of
       hedge settlements          351          350        1,400        1,400
      Issuance of shares
       pursuant to
       employee share
       purchase plan                -        3,835            -       11,071
      (Gain) loss on
        derivatives              (365)      (3,426)          34       (2,406)
      (Gain) loss on
        disposal of
        property and
        equipment                  97          331         (167)       1,504
      Stock-based
       compensation
       expense                  3,206        2,079       15,668       13,440
      Income tax credit             -            -       (1,667)      (1,952)
      Future income tax
       expense                 18,666        2,268       58,374       35,928
      Unrealized foreign
       exchange loss            2,288        1,319        3,696        8,440
      Change in non-cash
       working capital        (34,459)       6,645       98,222       19,350
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               69,923       64,566      443,283      318,661
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Financing activities:
    Increase in long-term
     debt                           -       33,855            -       33,855
    Repayment of long-term
     debt                     (42,769)     (41,287)    (171,115)    (165,757)
    Decrease in
     obligations under
     capital leases              (239)        (112)        (744)        (406)
    Issuance of common
     shares                         -            -          520      172,463
    Share issue costs               -          (12)           -       (7,468)
    Shares repurchased        (31,391)           -      (31,391)           -
    Change in other assets      1,464        3,427       (2,947)       3,427
    Change in non-cash
     working capital           (7,147)      (2,135)      (4,526)      (1,463)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              (80,082)      (6,264)    (210,203)      34,651
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Investing activities:
    Aircraft additions        (11,157)     (10,264)     (29,884)    (118,659)
    Other property and
     equipment and
     intangible additions      (6,611)      (3,927)     (18,675)     (48,021)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              (17,768)     (14,191)     (48,559)    (166,680)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash flow from
     operating, financing
     and investing
     activities               (27,927)      44,111      184,521      186,632
    Effect of foreign
     exchange on cash and
     cash equivalents          (2,237)        (578)      (1,803)      (1,665)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net change in cash and
     cash equivalents         (30,164)      43,533      182,718      184,967

    Cash and cash
     equivalents,
     beginning of period    1,218,063      961,648    1,005,181      820,214

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash and cash
     equivalents,
     end of period       $  1,187,899 $  1,005,181 $  1,187,899 $  1,005,181
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash interest paid   $     14,516 $     16,336 $     61,280 $     67,973
    Cash taxes paid      $        591 $        651 $      2,958 $      3,369
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Consolidated Statement of Shareholders' Equity
    (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars)
    (Unaudited)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Three months ended         Twelve months ended
                               December 31                 December 31

                             2010         2009          2010         2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Share capital:
      Balance, beginning
       of period         $    658,226 $    628,740 $    633,075 $    452,885
      Transfer of
       stock-based
       compensation
       expense on issued
       shares                       6          509       24,637        2,130
      Issuance of shares
       pursuant to stock
       option plans                 -            -          520            -
      Shares repurchased      (10,595)           -      (10,595)           -
      Issued on public
       offering                     -            -            -      172,463
      Share issue costs             -          (12)           -       (7,468)
      Tax effect of share
       issue costs                  -            3            -        1,994
      Issuance of shares
       pursuant to
       employee share
       purchase plan                -        3,835            -       11,071
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              647,637      633,075      647,637      633,075

    Contributed surplus:
      Balance, beginning
       of period               59,334      69,933        71,503       60,193
      Stock-based
       compensation expense     3,206       2,079        15,668       13,440
      Transfer of
       stock-based
       compensation expense
       on issued shares            (6)       (509)      (24,637)      (2,130)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               62,534       71,503       62,534       71,503

    Accumulated other
     comprehensive loss:
      Balance, beginning
       of period               (9,149)     (20,465)     (14,852)     (38,112)
      Other comprehensive
       income (loss)           (1,321)       5,613        4,382       23,260
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              (10,470)     (14,852)     (10,470)     (14,852)

    Retained earnings:
      Balance, beginning
       of period              788,014      679,027      699,202      611,171
      Change in accounting
       policy                       -            -            -      (10,147)
      Net earnings             47,908       20,175      136,720       98,178
      Shares repurchased      (20,796)           -      (20,796)           -
      Dividends declared       (7,148)           -       (7,148)           -
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              807,978      699,202      807,978      699,202

    Total accumulated
     other comprehensive
     loss and retained
     earnings                 797,508      684,350      797,508      684,350

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total shareholders'
     equity              $  1,507,679 $  1,388,928 $  1,507,679 $  1,388,928
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income
    (Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars)
    (Unaudited)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Three months ended         Twelve months ended
                               December 31                 December 31

                             2010         2009          2010         2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Net earnings         $     47,908 $     20,175 $    136,720 $     98,178

    Other comprehensive
     income (loss),
     net of tax:
      Amortization of
       hedge settlements
       to aircraft leasing        351          350        1,400        1,400
      Net unrealized
       loss on foreign
       exchange derivatives
       under cash flow hedge
       accounting(i)           (3,372)        (617)      (3,460)        (911)
      Reclassification of
       net realized (gain)
       loss on foreign
       exchange derivatives
       to net earnings(ii)        311            -        1,557       (3,977)
      Net unrealized gain
       (loss) on fuel
       derivatives under
       cash flow hedge
       accounting(iii)            292        3,266       (1,778)       6,709
      Reclassification
       of net realized
       loss on fuel
       derivatives to net
       earnings(iv)             1,097        2,614        6,663       20,039
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               (1,321)       5,613        4,382       23,260

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total comprehensive
     income              $     46,587 $     25,788 $    141,102 $    121,438
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (i)   Net of income taxes of $1,195 and $1,224 (2009 - $230 and $447)
    (ii)  Net of income taxes of ($117) and ($586) (2009 - $nil and $1,576)
    (iii) Net of income taxes of ($109) and $670 (2009 - ($1,353) and
          ($2,878))
    (iv)  Net of income taxes of ($414) and ($2,509) (2009 - ($1,093) and
          ($8,372))



    Operating highlights
    (Unaudited)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Three months ended December 31

                                            2010            2009      Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASMs                           5,021,010,134   4,412,573,833       13.8%
    RPMs                           3,941,660,897   3,460,905,058       13.9%
    Load factor                            78.5%           78.4%    0.1 pts.
    Yield (cents)                          17.58           16.47        6.7%
    RASM (cents)                           13.80           12.92        6.8%
    CASM (cents)                           12.23           12.10        1.1%
    CASM, excluding fuel and
     employee profit share (cents)          8.51            8.67       (1.8%)
    Fuel consumption (litres)        242,620,920     216,871,585       11.9%
    Fuel costs per litre (dollars)          0.74            0.69        7.2%
    Segment guests                     3,803,550       3,515,168        8.2%
    Average stage length (miles)             982             923        6.4%
    Utilization (hours)                     11.7            11.4        2.6%
    Number of full-time equivalent
     employees at period end               6,877           6,291        9.3%
    Fleet size at period end                  91              86        5.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Twelve months ended December 31

                                            2010            2009      Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASMs                          19,535,291,313  17,587,640,902       11.1%
    RPMs                          15,613,121,610  13,834,761,211       12.9%
    Load factor                            79.9%           78.7%    1.2 pts.
    Yield (cents)                          16.71           16.49        1.3%
    RASM (cents)                           13.36           12.97        3.0%
    CASM (cents)                           12.09           11.77        2.7%
    CASM, excluding fuel and
     employee profit share (cents)          8.52            8.45        0.8%
    Fuel consumption (litres)        950,341,292     859,115,698       10.6%
    Fuel costs per litre (dollars)          0.71            0.66        7.6%
    Segment guests                    15,173,581      14,038,827        8.1%
    Average stage length (miles)             968             923        4.9%
    Utilization (hours)                     11.6            11.7       (0.9%)
    Number of full-time equivalent
     employees at period end               6,877           6,291        9.3%
    Fleet size at period end                  91              86        5.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>

Reconciliation of non-GAAP measures to GAAP

To supplement the consolidated financial statements presented in accordance with Canadian GAAP, WestJet uses various non-GAAP performance measures. These measures are provided to enhance the reader's overall understanding of WestJet's current financial performance and are included to provide investors and management with an alternative method for assessing the operating results in a manner that is focused on the performance of ongoing operations and to provide a more consistent basis for comparison between quarters. These measures are not in accordance with, or an alternative to, Canadian GAAP and do not have standardized meanings. Therefore, they are not likely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other entities.

Net earnings and diluted earnings per share excluding special items

(Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars, except per share amounts)

(Unaudited)

WestJet believes excluding special items is useful for investors to evaluate its recurring operational performance.

    <<
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Three months ended         Twelve months ended
                               December 31                 December 31
                             2010         2009          2010         2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Net earnings - GAAP  $     47,908 $     20,175 $    136,720 $     98,178
    Adjusted for:
      CEO departure
       (net of tax)                 -            -        3,700            -
      Income tax rate
       reductions and
       estimate change              -       (5,051)       2,372       (5,051)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Net earnings
     excluding special
     items - non-GAAP    $     47,908 $     15,124 $    142,792 $     93,127
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Diluted earnings per
     share excluding
     special items
     - non-GAAP          $       0.33 $       0.11 $       0.98 $       0.71
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>

CASM, excluding fuel and employee profit share

(Stated in thousands of Canadian dollars, except per unit amounts)

(Unaudited)

WestJet excludes the effects of aircraft fuel expense and employee profit share expense to assess the operating performance of the business. Fuel expense is excluded from operating results due to the fact that fuel prices are impacted by a host of factors outside WestJet's control, such as significant weather events, geopolitical tensions, refinery capacity and global demand and supply. Excluding this expense allows WestJet to analyze its operating results on a comparable basis. Employee profit share expense is excluded from operating results due to its variable nature and excluding this expense allows greater comparability.

    <<
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Three months ended         Twelve months ended
                               December 31                 December 31
                             2010         2009          2010         2009
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Operating expenses
     - GAAP              $    614,011 $    533,938 $  2,361,716 $  2,070,564
    Adjusted for:
      Aircraft fuel expense  (179,276)    (148,853)    (674,608)    (570,569)
      Employee profit share
       expense                 (7,442)      (2,297)     (22,222)     (14,675)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating expenses,
     excluding above
     items - non-GAAP    $    427,293 $    382,788 $  1,664,886 $  1,485,320
    ASMs (in thousands)     5,021,010    4,412,574   19,535,291   17,587,641
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CASM, excluding
     above items -
     non-GAAP (cents)            8.51         8.67         8.52         8.45
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>

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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