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Press release from CNW Group

WestJet reports record February load factor of 86.1 per cent

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

WestJet reports record February load factor of 86.1 per cent08:30 EST Tuesday, March 05, 2013Airline flies 1.4 million guests in the month, up 5.5 per centCALGARY, March 5, 2013 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced February 2013 traffic results with a record load factor of 86.1 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 7.3 per cent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 3.1 per cent over the same period. The airline flew 1.4 million guests in February, a year-over-year increase of 5.5 per cent or approximately 74,300 additional guests."Not only did we achieve our eighth consecutive monthly load factor record in February, we also announced WestJet Encore's first schedule, and celebrated WestJet's 17th birthday," said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. "We are very pleased with the record February load factor, as our capacity increases continue to be absorbed by the market. I want to thank our over 9,000 WestJetters for their commitment to providing a remarkable experience for our growing number of guests, especially in light of the challenging winter weather conditions."February 2013 traffic results February 2013February 2012ChangeLoad factor86.1 %82.7 %3.4 pts.ASMs (billions)1.8671.8113.1 %RPMs (billions)1.6081.4997.3 % Year-to-date 2013Year-to-date 2012ChangeLoad factor83.4 %81.3 %2.1 pts.ASMs (billions)3.9083.7294.8 %RPMs (billions)3.2583.0307.5 %On February 11th, WestJet announced the first two communities that will be serviced by WestJet Encore. Fort St. John, British Columbia, will start daily service from Calgary and Vancouver and Nanaimo, British Columbia, will start daily service from Calgary, commencing on June 24, 2013. WestJet also announced new non-stop service between Toronto and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and between Calgary and Dallas, Texas, beginning this spring."The announcements of the first two destinations to be served by our new Bombardier Q400 NextGen fleet, as well as schedule enhancements in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, are an exciting start to WestJet Encore," said Ferio Pugliese, President, WestJet Encore and Executive Vice-President, WestJet. "We look forward to more announcements later this year as we take delivery of additional aircraft."Caution regarding forward-looking statementsCertain information set forth in this news release, including information regarding the demand environment and future service schedules contains 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 WestJet's existing strategy and currently available implementation plans, scheduled aircraft deliveries, agreements and bookings, but may vary due to factors including, but not limited to, changes in guest demand, regulatory and competitive environment and general economic conditions. These and additional risk factors are discussed in WestJet's most recent Annual Information Form and in other documents WestJet files from time to time with securities regulatory authorities, which are available under WestJet's profile on SEDAR 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.About WestJetWestJet is Canada's most preferred airline, offering scheduled service to 85 destinations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Powered by an award-winning culture of care, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. Recognized nationally as a top employer, WestJet now has more than 9,000 WestJetters across Canada. Operating a fleet of more than 100 Boeing Next-Generation 737 and Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft, WestJet strives to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world.Connect with WestJet on Facebook at www.facebook.com/westjetFollow WestJet on Twitter at www.twitter.com/westjetSubscribe to WestJet on YouTube at www.youtube.com/westjet  SOURCE: WestJetFor further information: WestJet Media Relations 1-888-WJ-4-NEWS (1-888-954-6397) Email: media@westjet.com Website: www.westjet.com WestJet Investor Relations 1-877-493-7853 Email: investor_relations@westjet.com