WestJet posts 17th straight profitable quarter

Airline has net earnings of $9.2 million and takes steps to continue future profitability CALGARY , Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - WestJet (TSX:WJA) today announced second quarter results for 2009. The airline reported net...

"We are making excellent progress on our strategic initiatives, as evidenced by accelerating our interline relationship with Air France and KLM, announcing RBC and MasterCard as our credit card partners for our rewards program and having our reservation system continue on track for a fourth quarter implementation," added Sean Durfy . "These initiatives will allow us to provide an even greater guest experience and valued benefits that our guests have been asking for."

Sean Durfy further said, "With the continued weak outlook for the economy for the remainder of 2009, we are not expecting any real improvement in our RASM numbers for the balance of the year. For the third quarter 2009, we are seeing RASM declines continuing at similar declines from the second quarter year-over-year results. Although there have been some early indications that the economy may be improving, the airline industry typically lags economic improvement by six or more months."

WestJet had strong second quarter operational performance. WestJet calculates its on-time performance and completion rate based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's standards. WestJet's baggage ratio represents the number of delayed or lost baggage claims made per 1,000 guests. The airline strives to be one of the top North American airlines for these three operational performance metrics.

Caution regarding forward-looking statements

Certain information set forth in this press release, including but not limited to information regarding WestJet's operational plans for the remainder of 2009, capacity projections, new winter schedule, anticipated aircraft delivery schedule, implementation of strategic programs, and projections as to RASM in the third quarter of 2009, contain forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond WestJet's control. These forward-looking statements are based on currently available implementation plans, agreements and bookings, but may vary due to factors including, but not limited to, delay in aircraft delivery, change in customer demand, general economic conditions and availability of personnel and outside consultants. These and additional risk factors are discussed in WestJet's most recent Annual Information Form (AIF) and in other documents WestJet files from time to time with securities regulatory authorities, which are available through the Internet on WestJet's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking statements. WestJet does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, except as is required by law.

The Management's Discussion and Analysis and Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes for the three and six months ended June 30, 2009 , are available through the Internet on westjet.com or WestJet's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

Conference call

WestJet will hold a live analysts' conference call today at 9 a.m. MDT ( 11 a.m. EDT ). Sean Durfy , President and CEO, and Vito Culmone , Executive Vice-President of Finance and CFO, will discuss WestJet's second quarter 2009 results and answer questions from financial analysts. The conference call is available calling (416) 644-3434 (in Toronto ) or through the toll-free telephone number 1-800-731-5319. The call can also be heard live through an Internet webcast in the Media and Investors section of westjet.com.

About WestJet

WestJet is Canada's preferred airline, offering scheduled service throughout its 66-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 79 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 42 aircraft, bringing its fleet to 121 by 2013, WestJet strives to be the number one choice for travellers.


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