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WestJet posts record load factor in October

Two WestJet planes sit on the tarmac at the Calgary Airport on Aug. 24, 2001.

Jeff McIntosh

WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it posted a record load factor of 81.2 per cent for October, up from 77.4 per cent in the year-earlier period.

Revenue passenger miles – or traffic – increased 5.9 per cent year over year, while capacity – measured in available seat miles – grew 0.9 per cent, the Calgary-based airline said Monday.

Load factor is the proportion of seats filled with paying customers.

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WestJet said it flew 113,000 more passengers this October than in the same month last year.

"We are very pleased with the October results which easily outpaced the previous October load factor record of 78.1 per cent set in 2007," WestJet president and chief executive officer Gregg Saretsky, said in a news release.

"Forward bookings remain healthy and momentum continues at WestJet as this marks the fourth consecutive month in which we have achieved a record load factor."

WestJet is scheduled to release its third-quarter financial results on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Toronto-based regional carrier Porter Airlines reported a 59.4 per cent load factor for October, a decline of 8.3 points from 67.7 per cent in the year-earlier period.

Revenue passenger miles fell 7.5 per cent, to 74.2 million from 80.2 million.

Capacity -- in available seat miles -- increased 5.5 per cent, to 125 million from 118.5 million.

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"We are currently focused on maintaining higher yields, so the change in load factor is expected with this approach," Porter president and CEO Robert Deluce said in a news release Monday.

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About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More

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