WestJet reports February load factor of 82.5 per cent

Airline flies 68,000 more guests this February compared to last

CALGARY, March 3 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced February traffic results with a load factor of 82.5 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs) increased 9.0 per cent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 9.3 per cent over the same period. The airline flew an additional 68,000 guests in the month compared to February last year.

"We are extremely pleased with our strong February load factor given our increased capacity and a nine per cent improvement in RPMs," commented WestJet President and CEO Sean Durfy. "Focusing our growth in southern U.S., Mexican and Caribbean markets continues to benefit both our scheduled service and WestJet Vacations. While our first quarter is traditionally a weaker period for domestic travel, directing the majority of new capacity towards our international expansion is allowing us to partially offset this seasonality. We are seeing continual demand for our growing number of popular vacation destinations, demonstrating the ongoing benefit of our seasonal deployment strategy."

"Our network, balance sheet and increasing capabilities in the vacations space are all contributing to a breakthrough winter for WestJet Vacations," added Sean Durfy. "Thank you to our WestJetters for continuously going above and beyond despite the challenges. We are extremely fortunate to have such an enthusiastic team."

    
                        February 2010 traffic results

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        February 2010       February 2009       Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor             82.5%               82.6%         (0.1 pts.)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASMs (billions)         1.475               1.350            9.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RPMs (billions)         1.216               1.116            9.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Year-to-date 2010   Year-to-date 2009     Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor             80.6%               79.6%          1.0 pts.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASMs (billions)         3.065               2.835            8.1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RPMs (billions)         2.470               2.256            9.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

WestJet commented on expectations for first quarter revenue per available seat mile (RASM).

"While we are seeing signs of a slight, albeit slow, improvement in the demand environment, first quarter RASM is tracking to an anticipated decline of less than three per cent," commented Sean Durfy. "We are encouraged by these positive indications and feel well positioned to capitalize on improving industry conditions."

This disclosure contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements regarding anticipated RASM for the first quarter of 2010. 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, failure to successfully implement and/or remedy challenges regarding critical systems, general economic conditions, the competitive environment, possible pandemics 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 69-city North American and Caribbean network. Inducted into the corporate culture hall of fame after being 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 88 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 47 aircraft through 2016, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.

SOURCE WestJet

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


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