WestJet reports record December load factor of 81.7 per cent

Airline's revenue passenger miles increase 8.1 per cent

CALGARY, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - WestJet today announced December traffic results with a record load factor of 81.7 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs) increased 8.1 per cent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 7.0 per cent over the same period.

"We are very pleased with our strong December load factor, which is accompanied by RPM growth of over eight per cent and 42,000 additional guests compared to December last year," commented WestJet President and CEO Sean Durfy . "This busy month for holiday travel was further enhanced with a number of new vacation hot spots that we launched during the quarter. WestJet Vacations' increasing popularity is contributing to current performance as well as advance bookings."

"We have made considerable progress in our call centre service levels since our reservation system cutover in October, and we are on our way to fully restoring our high-quality service," added Sean Durfy . "Despite record loads, winter storms and increased security measures over the busy holiday period, we completed 98.3 per cent of our scheduled flights in December, thanks largely to the determination and drive of our WestJetters who excelled under challenging circumstances. We are tremendously appreciative of their continued dedication and are honoured to have recently ranked as one of Canada's top employers in Hewitt Associates 50 Best Employers in Canada Study."

Sean Durfy commented on the airline's revenue per available seat mile (RASM) for the fourth quarter of 2009, "Our expectations for fourth quarter RASM remain inline with our previous guidance of an 11 to 13 per cent year-over-year decline."

This disclosure contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements regarding normalization of call centre operations and anticipated RASM for fourth quarter of 2009. These forward-looking statements are based on WestJet's current assumptions and beliefs. However, these forward-looking statements are subject to, and may be affected by, numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's control. WestJet's results may differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to these differences include, but are not limited to: changes in consumer demand, changes in fuel prices, failure to successfully implement and/or remedy challenges regarding critical systems, general economic conditions, the competitive environment, possible pandemics and other factors described in WestJet's public reports and filings, which are available on WestJet's profile at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements are subject to change, and WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.

About WestJet

WestJet is Canada's preferred airline, offering scheduled service throughout its 67-city North American and Caribbean network. Named one of Canada's most admired corporate cultures in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, 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 86 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 49 aircraft through 2016, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.

SOURCE WestJet

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