WestJet reports March load factor of 83.2 per cent

Airline increases traffic by 7.4 per cent, flies a record 1.9 million guests for the month of March

CALGARY, April 6, 2016 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced March 2016 traffic results with a load factor of 83.2 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 7.4 per cent year-over-year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 5.0 per cent over the same period. The airline flew a record 5.3 million guests in the first quarter, a year-over-year increase of 8.4 per cent or approximately 411,000 additional guests.

"We continue to be pleased with our strong traffic growth as a record number of guests chose to fly with us in the first quarter. Our airline partnership strategy continues to contribute to our traffic and in March we added Emirates as our fifteenth code-share partner," said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. "My thanks go out to all WestJetters for their commitment to delivering a remarkable experience to our guests."

March 2016 traffic results


March 2016

March 2015

Change

Load factor

83.2%

81.3%

1.9 pts

ASMs (billions)

2.491

2.373

5.0%

RPMs (billions)

2.072

1.930

7.4%


First quarter 2016

First quarter 2015

Change

Load factor

82.1%

81.6%

0.5 pts

ASMs (billions)

7.294

6.819

7.0%

RPMs (billions)

5.988

5.566

7.6%

WestJet continues to expect its first quarter RASM to be in line with its previous guidance.

In March, WestJet announced new seasonal non-stop service to Halifax from Vancouver and Winnipeg beginning June 29, 2016. These routes make WestJet the only airline in Canada offering non-stop flights to Halifax from Vancouver and Winnipeg. Also in March, WestJet Encore launched its first transborder route with inaugural service between Toronto and Boston.

Caution regarding forward-looking information

Certain information set forth in this news release, including, without limitation, information regarding our expectation that first quarter RASM is expected to be in line with previous guidance is forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. The forward-looking information is based on a number of material factors and assumptions including those related to our current demand forecast. By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond the Corporation's control, including those risk factors described in WestJet's public reports and filings which are available under WestJet's profile at www.sedar.com. Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking information. WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking information as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.

About WestJet
We are proud to be Canada's highest-rated airline for customer service, powered by an award-winning culture of care and recognized as one of the country's top employers. We offer scheduled service to 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. Through our regional airline, WestJet Encore, and with partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, we offer our guests more than 150 destinations in more than 20 countries. Leveraging WestJet's extensive network, flight schedule and remarkable guest experience, WestJet Vacations delivers affordable, flexible travel experiences with a variety of accommodation options for every guest. Members of our WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Our members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of WestJet flights and vacations packages on any day, at any time, to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods  ̶  even on seat sales. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com. 

Recent recognition includes:
2015/2011/2010/2008/2007/2006/2005 Canada's Most Admired Corporate Culture (Waterstone Human Capital)
2015 Best Employers in Canada (Aon Hewitt)
2015/2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (MoneySense magazine)
2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in the Canada's Choice ranking (RewardsCanada.ca)
2014 Interbrand Canada's Best Canadian Brands (Rank #20)
2014 Brands of the Year (Strategy magazine)
2014 Canada's Most Preferred Airline (Ipsos)
2014 Value Airline of the Year (Air Transport World magazine)
2014/2013/2012 Canada's Most Attractive Employer (Randstad)
2014/2013/2012/2011 Highest equity score: airline, vacation package supplier brands (Harris/Decima EquiTrend Study)

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SOURCE WestJet

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

RELATED LINKS
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