News Releases

WestJet reports record February load factor of 86.4 per cent; Revising guidance: RASM now up 2.5% to 3.5%, Domestic capacity now up 5.5% to 6.5%

CALGARY, March 8, 2018 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced record February 2018 traffic results with a load factor of 86.4 per cent, an increase of 1.2 percentage points year-over-year. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 6.1 per cent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 4.6 per cent over the same period. WestJet flew a record 1.9 million guests in February, a year-over-year increase of 6.5 per cent or approximately 120,000 additional guests.

February 2018 traffic results


February 2018

February 2017

Change

Load factor

86.4%

85.2%

1.2 pts

ASMs (billions)

2.480

2.370

4.6%

RPMs (billions)

2.142

2.019

6.1%


Year-to-date 2018

Year-to-date 2017

Change

Load factor

84.4%

82.4%

2.0 pts

ASMs (billions)

5.213

5.023

3.8%

RPMs (billions)

4.401

4.141

6.3%

 

Update to Q1 RASM and Domestic capacity outlook


New

Three months ended

March 31, 2018

Previous

Three months ended

March 31, 2018

RASM

Up 2.5% to 3.5%

Up 4.5% to 5.5%

Domestic capacity

Up 5.5% to 6.5%

Up 7.5% to 8.5%

 

Driven by the compounding effect of significant weather events across the country, we now expect year-over-year RASM growth for the first quarter of 2018 of up 2.5 to 3.5 per cent and Domestic capacity of up 5.5 to 6.5 per cent down from our previous guidance of up 4.5 to 5.5 per cent and 7.5 to 8.5 per cent respectively. WestJet experienced twenty-five days of irregular operations in the first two months of 2018 with January representing the single highest month over the past four years. The severity and length of weather events limited options for guest recovery, reduced revenues from providing WestJet guests with atonement, drove higher guest cancellations and impacted the ability to capture revenue from last minute high-yield bookings. We continue to expect all other guidance to remain in line with disclosure provided in Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Operating Results for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016.

Caution regarding forward-looking information
Certain information set forth in this news release, including, without limitation, information regarding our expected RASM and domestic capacity outlook, is forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's control. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on WestJet's current forecasts and strategy, the expected demand environment, the utilization of our fleet, the forward-curve for jet fuel price, the expected exchange rate of the Canadian dollar to the U.S. dollar, agreements and bookings, but may vary due to factors including, but not limited to, changes in guest demand, changes in fuel prices, delays in aircraft delivery, general economic conditions, competitive environment, ability to effectively implement and maintain critical systems and other factors and risks described in WestJet's public reports and filings which are available under WestJet's profile at 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
WestJet is proud to be named Best Airline in Canada and one of the best Low Cost Airlines in North America, based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on Trip Advisor, the world's largest travel site. We are one of very few airlines globally that does not commercially overbook. Together with our regional airline, WestJet Encore, we offer scheduled service to more than 100 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 175 destinations in over 20 countries through our airline partnerships. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas. Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacations packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods, and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of our partner airlines.

WestJet is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol WJA. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.  

Recent recognition includes:
2017 Five-Star Airline in the Low-Cost Category (The Airline Passenger Experience Association)
2017/2016 Canada's Most Trusted Airline (Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria)
2017 Best Airline in Canada and Travellers' Choice Winner Mid-Sized and Low Cost Airlines – North America (TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards for Airlines)
2016 Canada's most reputable company for Corporate Social Responsibility (Reputation Institute)
2016/2015/2014/2013/2012 Ranked top three for Canadian Brands (Canadian Business Magazine)
2016/2015/2014/2013 WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (MoneySense magazine)
2015/2011/2010/2008/2007/2006/2005 Canada's Most Admired Corporate Culture (Waterstone Human Capital)
2015 Best Employers in Canada (Aon Hewitt)

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SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

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


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