WestJet announces April load factor of 81.2 per cent



    Airlines revenue passenger miles increase 5.5 per cent

    CALGARY, May 5 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced April traffic results with
a load factor of 81.2 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPM) increased 5.5
per cent year over year and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASM),
grew 7.2 per cent over the same period.
    "Given the difficult economic environment, we are positive about our
April traffic results," commented Sean Durfy, WestJet President and CEO.
"These results, which benefited from Easter travel, were driven by our network
expansion into sun destinations and significant support from WestJet Vacations
in filling seats."
    Sean Durfy also commented on how the airline is coping with the recent
H1N1 influenza virus outbreak: "The safety of our guests and our WestJetters
is our most important value at WestJet. With this top of mind, we decided to
cease service to and from Mexico. Our tremendous team of WestJetters played a
vital role in our ability to quickly and safely re-accommodate travellers. We
are monitoring and adapting to the situation and feel fortunate that our
corporate and financial strength, along with the commitment and dedication of
our people, helps us better cope with these types of situations.
    "During a period where trust and confidence are critical for consumer
choice, our WestJet Care-antee is giving consumers assurance, while
demonstrating our genuine guest focus and the ability of our company to
deliver on these promises."

    
                         April 2009 traffic results
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      April 2009    April 2008      Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor                             81.2%         82.5%    (1.3 pts.)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASMs (billions)                        1.467         1.368           7.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RPMs (billions)                        1.191         1.129           5.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Year-to-date  Year-to-date
                                         2009          2008         Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor                             80.6%         82.1%    (1.5 pts.)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASMs (billions)                        5.824         5.433           7.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RPMs (billions)                        4.693         4.460           5.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    "With the weakened economy, second quarter revenue per available seat
mile (RASM) is tracking to year-over-year declines that are, at best, similar
to what we experienced in the first quarter of 2009," added Sean Durfy. "The
recent H1N1 influenza virus outbreak appears to be delaying some consumers'
travel bookings; however, it is too early to determine how it will impact
RASM. Despite these conditions, we are confident in our business model and our
organization's ability to continue on our profitable path."

    This disclosure contains forward-looking statements, including but not
limited to, statements regarding projected RASM for the second quarter of 2009
and the potential impact of the H1N1 influenza virus outbreak. 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 and other
factors described in WestJet's public reports and filings. 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 leading high-value, low-cost airline offering
scheduled service throughout its 55-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 and leather seats on its modern fleet of 79 Boeing Next-Generation 737
aircraft and live seatback television provided by Bell TV. 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.





For further information:

For further information: WestJet Media Relations, 1-888-WJ 4 NEWS
(1-888-954-6397), E-mail: ropalmer@westjet.com; WestJet Investor Relations,
1-877-493-7853, E-mail: investor_relations@westjet.com, Website:
www.westjet.com


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