WestJet announces March load factor of 81.9 per cent



    Airline increases first quarter revenue passenger miles by 5.1 per cent

    CALGARY, April 6 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced March traffic results
with a load factor of 81.9 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPM) increased
0.6 per cent year over year and capacity, measured in available seat miles
(ASM), grew 6.3 per cent over the same period.
    "Overall, we are pleased with these results and our ability to increase
our RPMs by 5.1 per cent for the quarter," said Sean Durfy, WestJet President
and CEO. "Given that last year's March benefited from Easter travel and a much
stronger economy, we are encouraged by our solid March load factor that hits
the top of our optimum operating range of 78 to 82 per cent."
    "Lower fuel prices are helping our overall profitability, while our
expectations for first quarter revenue per available seat mile (RASM) remain
unchanged, at an expected decline of 10 to 12 per cent year over year,"
continued Sean Durfy.

    
                         March 2009 traffic results

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             March 2009      March 2008        Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor                  81.9%           86.6%        (4.7 pts.)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASMs (billions)              1.521           1.431           6.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RPMs (billions)              1.246           1.239           0.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Q1 2009         Q1 2008        Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor                  80.4%           81.9%        (1.5 pts.)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASMs (billions)              4.357           4.065           7.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RPMs (billions)              3.502           3.331           5.1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    "In the second quarter, our limited-time offer of a WestJet Price
Guarantee appears to have increased confidence and certainty for guests
hesitant to book in the current economic environment," added Sean Durfy. "Our
WestJetters continue to build trust and loyalty for our brand; we thank them
for their ongoing dedication that keeps us true to our high-value and low-cost
model."

    This disclosure contains forward-looking statements, including but not
limited to, statements regarding projected RASM for the first quarter of 2009.
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 78 Boeing Next-Generation 737
aircraft and live seatback television provided by Bell TV. With future
confirmed deliveries for an additional 43 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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