WestJet reports improved September load factor of 77.7 per cent

CALGARY, Oct. 5 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced September traffic results with a load factor of 77.7 per cent, a year-over-year improvement of 2.2 percentage points. Revenue passenger miles (RPM) increased 0.4 per cent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASM), declined 2.5 per cent over the same period.

"We are encouraged by our year-over-year improvement in September's load factor," said WestJet President and CEO Sean Durfy. "While the demand environment remained a challenge, our strategic capacity management, strengthening sales channels and strong brand helped us end the quarter on a positive note."

"With the third quarter of 2009 coming to an end, we anticipate a year-over-year revenue per available seat mile (RASM) decline of 15 to 17 per cent for the period - this is slightly better than our original expectations," commented Sean Durfy. "As we move into the final quarter of 2009, and the winter travel season, we feel that WestJet Vacations is increasingly becoming a popular and trusted choice for Canadians seeking value."

    
                       September 2009 traffic results

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                       September 2009       September 2008           Change
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    Load factor              77.7%                75.5%             2.2 pts.
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    ASMs (billions)          1.381                1.417                (2.5%)
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    RPMs (billions)          1.073                1.069                 0.4%
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    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Third quarter 2009    Third quarter 2008       Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor              79.7%                81.4%            (1.7 pts.)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ASMs (billions)          4.503                4.551                (1.1%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RPMs (billions)          3.587                3.705                (3.2%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Year-to-date 2009    Year-to-date 2008        Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Load factor              78.7%                80.9%            (2.2 pts.)
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    ASMs (billions)         13.175               12.851                 2.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    RPMs (billions)         10.374               10.402                (0.3%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

"The commitment of our WestJetters is extraordinary," added Sean Durfy. "In a year when we are delivering several major projects, WestJetters have stepped up to the challenge, while continuing to build the type of trust and loyalty that comes from treating guests with care, respect and appreciation."

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.

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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