WestJet announces August load factor of 84.5 per cent



    CALGARY, Sept. 3 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced August traffic results
with a load factor of 84.5 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPM) decreased
4.7 per cent year over year and capacity, measured in available seat miles
(ASM), declined 0.4 per cent over the same period.
    "In what continues to be a tough environment for airlines, we are pleased
with our strong August load factor," said WestJet President and CEO Sean
Durfy. "Day to day, we are tackling the challenges of the weakened demand
environment. Just as importantly, we remain focused on our big-picture
initiatives and building the foundation for continued success. We are
confident that improving our aircraft delivery schedule, enhancing our
international service - to the benefit of both WestJet and WestJet Vacations -
and our other strategic initiatives are paving the way for our long-term
profitable growth."
    "WestJet's approach to guest service has become an enviable strength for
our airline," added Sean Durfy. "During this deep recession, we thank our
WestJetters for their follow-through in reducing costs and their commitment to
strengthening our culture and, in turn, our brand."

    
                          August 2009 traffic results

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          August 2009          August 2008           Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor              84.5%                88.4%            (3.9 pts.)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASMs (billions)          1.571                1.577                (0.4%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RPMs (billions)          1.328                1.394                (4.7%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Year-to-date 2009    Year-to-date 2008        Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor              78.9%                81.6%            (2.7 pts.)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASMs (billions)         11.795               11.434                 3.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RPMs (billions)          9.301                9.333                (0.3%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    "While we are encouraged by the talk of an economic upturn, and are not
seeing further declines in demand, we remain cautious about a recovery,"
continued Sean Durfy. "WestJet's third quarter revenue per available seat mile
(RASM) is tracking to an anticipated decline of 16 to 18 per cent compared to
the third quarter of 2008."

    This disclosure contains forward-looking statements, including, but not
limited to, statements regarding projected RASM for the third quarter of 2009
and strategic initiatives to facilitate long-term profitable growth. 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 and other factors described in WestJet's public
reports and filings, which are available on WestJet's profile at
www.sedar.com. 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
81 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for
an additional 54 aircraft through 2016, WestJet strives to be one of the five
most successful international airlines in the world.

    Website: www.westjet.com





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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