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WestJet reports increase in April load factor

May 3, 2012, Calgary - WestJet Airlines said Thursday that its flights took off with fewer empty seats in April than compared with a year ago even as the airline increased its capacity by five per cent.


May 3, 2012
By The Canadian Press

The Calgary-based carrier reported a load factor of 86.2 per cent for April, up from 83.6 a year ago.

"We are very happy with this new record load factor for April, which is 2.2 points above the previous high of 84 per cent in April 2010,'' WestJet president and chief executive Gregg Saretsky said in a statement.

"The demand environment remains strong and we are optimistic that this positive momentum will continue throughout 2012.''

The improvement came as WestJet saw its capacity, measured as available seat miles, increase by five per cent and traffic grow by 8.2 per cent.

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WestJet offers service to a network of 76 cities in North America and the Caribbean.

Earlier this week, WestJet announced plans to buy up to 45 of the Bombardier Q400 Next Generation planes over the next six years that will be used for a new regional service it expects to launch next year.

The Q400, which is already in service with other airlines in Canada and abroad, will be used to bolster WestJet's presence in some communities and add destinations that the airline currently doesn't reach.