WestJet reports December load factor of 80.3 per cent

Airline finishes the year with double-digit traffic increase

CALGARY, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced December 2010 traffic results with a load factor of 80.3 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 10.9 per cent year over year. Capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 12.9 per cent over the same period.

This busy holiday season, WestJet's guests enjoyed the time-saving convenience of self-serve bag tagging at several of its largest airports, where check-in lines were significantly reduced. The self-serve bag-tagging option allows guests to easily print and attach baggage tags to their own checked baggage.

"We're very pleased to be closing the year with such strong traffic results," said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. "With the season's festivities behind us and the reality of the Canadian winter ahead of us, we continue to expect that our Mexican and Caribbean destinations will be popular choices with Canadians looking to warm up."

                        December 2010 traffic results

                               December 2010     December 2009       Change
    Load factor                    80.3%             81.7%         (1.4) pts.
    ASMs (billions)                1.767             1.565            12.9%
    RPMs (billions)                1.418             1.279            10.9%

                              Fourth quarter    Fourth quarter
                                   2010              2009            Change
    Load factor                    78.5%             78.4%           0.1 pts.
    ASMs (billions)                5.021             4.413            13.8%
    RPMs (billions)                3.942             3.461            13.9%

                              Full-year 2010    Full-year 2009       Change
    Load factor                    79.9%             78.7%           1.2 pts.
    ASMs (billions)               19.535            17.588            11.1%
    RPMs (billions)               15.613            13.835            12.9%

"We expect improved RASM in the fourth quarter, which is in line with our previous guidance given in our third-quarter results. I thank all WestJetters for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure the safe and on-time operations of our airline each and every day," concluded Gregg Saretsky. WestJet recorded its best December on-time performance in four years. The airline industry standard for on-time performance is defined as an arrival within 15 minutes of scheduled arrival at the gate.

Caution regarding forward-looking statements

Certain information set forth in this press release, including information regarding WestJet's network expansion, growth plans, RASM expectations, southern destination activity levels, and corporate vision, contains forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's control. These forward-looking statements are based on WestJet's existing strategy and currently available implementation plans, agreements and bookings, but may vary due to factors including, but not limited to, changes in guest demand, competitive environment and general economic conditions. These and additional risk factors are discussed in WestJet's most recent Annual Information Form (AIF) and in other documents WestJet files from time to time with securities regulatory authorities, which are available through the Internet on WestJet's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking statements. WestJet does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, except as is required by law.

About WestJet

WestJet is Canada's preferred airline, offering scheduled service throughout its 70-city North American and Caribbean network. Inducted into Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame and named one of Canada's best employers, 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 91 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 44 aircraft through 2016, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.

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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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