WestJet Annual Profits Soar 873 Percent

The Calgary-based airline's second-quarter profit hit a record $22.4 million, beating all market expectations.

However, Rick Erickson, an independent aviation analyst in Calgary, said WestJet's soaring second quarter profit is an achievement, but not as exceptional as many would believe since most airlines are doing well right now. The high dollar and a strong economy means more Canadians are flying to the U.S., Erickson said.

"This is as good as it gets for the airline industry."

Also, WestJet's second quarter profits are being compared to last year's which were low because of strong competition from Jetsgo, he said.

The stock market hasn't given WestJet high marks for the future because the airline will have trouble expanding, he said. Americans don't know the WestJet name and the airline likely won't be successful in the U.S. As far as expanding domestic flights, Erickson said the airline has exhausted its supply of low-cost flights in Canada and doesn't have the variety in services offered by its competitor Air Canada such as business class or air mile points, he said.

"Their 30 per cent of the domestic market won't disappear, but I don't see anywhere else WestJet can grow."

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