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WestJet reports traffic increase

April 6, 2010, Calgary - The newly appointed chief executive of WestJet Airlines Ltd. says he's pleased with how the company performed last month.


April 6, 2010
By The Canadian Press

WestJet's passenger traffic in March was up 10 per cent from the same time last year. That equates to about 94,000 additional guests.

The Calgary-based airline's load factor — which is a measure of how full its fleet was — rose to 83.8 per cent.

That's up 1.9 percentage points from March 2009, despite a 7.4 per cent increase in capacity.

WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky says that means the added capacity is being "profitably absorbed'' by the market.

He became the airline's chief executive after Sean Durfy announced in mid-March that he was stepping aside for personal reasons.

Saretsky told an industry conference about two weeks ago that WestJet aims to have about 50 per cent of the Canadian market within a few years.

He estimated WestJet's share is currently 38 per cent. Air Canada says it has about 56 per cent of the domestic market.