WestJet announces record December load factor



    
    Airline excels in the face of one of the toughest Christmas travel
    seasons in Canadian history
    

    CALGARY, Jan. 7 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced December traffic results
with a record load factor of 80.9 per cent for the month. Revenue passenger
miles increased 12.8 per cent while capacity, measured in available seat
miles, grew 10.6 per cent. In the month of December, over 90,000 additional
guests flew with the airline than in December 2007.
    "These are very strong results, particularly at a time when there remains
some degree of uncertainty in many areas of the economy," said Sean Durfy,
WestJet President and CEO. "Our results clearly demonstrate that our business
model and strategy are set up to deliver shareholder value."
    Sean Durfy commented, "These results come from the continued dedication
of our WestJetters who care deeply about delivering value through a great
guest experience. I thank the more than 7,300 WestJetters who continued to
give their all in the face of one of the most tumultuous years on record."

    
                        December 2008 traffic results

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           December 2008      December 2007           Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor                    80.9%              79.3%         1.6 pts.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Available seat miles
     (ASM)                 1.462 billion      1.322 billion            10.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenue passenger
     miles (RPM)           1.183 billion      1.049 billion            12.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Fourth quarter     Fourth quarter
                                    2008               2007           Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor                    77.6%              77.7%        (0.1 pts.)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Available seat miles
     (ASM)                 4.288 billion      3.819 billion            12.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenue passenger
     miles (RPM)           3.329 billion      2.968 billion            12.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Full year 2008     Full year 2007           Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor                    80.1%              80.7%        (0.6 pts.)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Available seat miles
     (ASM)                17.139 billion     14.545 billion            17.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenue passenger
     miles (RPM)          13.731 billion     11.739 billion            17.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    "Our estimated revenue per available seat mile (RASM) for the fourth
quarter should be flat to a slight decline year over year," continued Sean
Durfy.
    WestJet demonstrated its ability to deliver strong traffic results while
maintaining its commitment to guest service. The airline took unparalleled
action to care for its guests during what meteorologists have called one of
the worst periods of severe coast-to-coast winter weather in Canadian history.

    
    These actions included:
    -   Providing hotel rooms, meal vouchers, taxis, chartered buses and
        third-party aircraft charters to care for our guests and help get
        them to their destinations.
    -   Implementing a unique offer where future travel credits were provided
        to guests willing to postpone or cancel flights in affected areas in
        the days leading up to Boxing Day.
    -   Working in real time with hotel partners and service providers to
        adjust the plans of WestJet Vacations' guests to deliver the
        experience they expect of the brand.
    

    "I was extremely proud of our people this holiday season. We had hundreds
of WestJetters who worked during their holiday break to make sure that as many
guests as possible made it home at this special time of year," said Sean
Durfy. "I have received dozens of stories from across the country where
WestJetters continued to work long past their shift time in order to make sure
all guests were served."

    This disclosure contains forward-looking statements, including but not
limited to, statements regarding projected fourth quarter revenue. 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
government policy, exchange rates, interest rates, disruption of supplies,
volatility of fuel prices, terrorism, 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 76 Boeing Next-Generation 737
aircraft and live seatback television provided by Bell ExpressVu. With future
confirmed deliveries for an additional 45 aircraft, bringing its fleet to 121
by 2013, WestJet strives to be the number one choice for travellers.





For further information:

For further information: Robert Palmer, Media Relations, telephone:
1-888-WJ 4 NEWS (1-888-954-6397), e-mail: ropalmer@westjet.com


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