WestJet announces record January load factor of 76.8 per cent



    Airline reports a 10.3 per cent increase in revenue passenger miles

    CALGARY, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced strong January traffic
results with a record January load factor of 76.8 per cent. Revenue passenger
miles (RPM) increased 10.3 per cent year over year and capacity, measured in
available seat miles (ASM), grew 9.4 per cent over the same period.
    "We are pleased with our increased load factor for the month of January,"
commented Sean Durfy, WestJet President and CEO. "Our traffic results
demonstrate the success of our efforts to continue to profitably grow. With
over 35,000 more guests coming onboard this January compared to last, we are
further penetrating all the markets we serve.
    "Given the continuing economic downturn, we are cautious with respect to
our year-over-year revenue per available seat mile (RASM) predictions. It is
difficult to compare the first quarter of 2009 to our record first quarter of
2008 that saw us increase RASM by eight per cent year over year. Our first
quarter of 2008 benefited from Easter taking place in March as well as a more
robust economy in Western Canada. Presently, we are seeing downward pressure
on our yields, contributing to an expected decline in year-over-year RASM for
the first quarter of 2009."

    
                         January 2009 traffic results

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   January 2009   January 2008     Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor                        76.8%          76.2%       0.6 pts.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASM (billions)                     1.485          1.357           9.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RPM (billions)                     1.141          1.034          10.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    "Our cost structure, value proposition and respected brand help us
weather the challenges of economic downturns," continued Sean Durfy. "With the
continued commitment and enthusiasm of our WestJetters we remain positive
about WestJet's strategy and outlook."

    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 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: 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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