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Press release from PR Newswire

WestJet reports March load factor of 86.1 per cent

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

WestJet reports March load factor of 86.1 per cent

08:30 EDT Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Airline achieves record load factor in first quarter of 2013

CALGARY, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - WestJet today announced March 2013 traffic results with a load factor of 86.1 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 8.2 per cent year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), was 8.4 per cent higher over the same period. The airline flew 1.6 million guests in March, a year-over-year increase of 6.7 per cent or approximately 101,100 additional guests.

"I am pleased to report a record first quarter load factor of 84.3 per cent, up from last year's record of 83.0 per cent, and our third strongest March in WestJet history. Our airline partnership strategy continues to contribute to our traffic and in March we added Air France as our ninth code-share partner," said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. "The market continues to absorb our capacity and my thanks go to our over 9,000 WestJetters for their energy and efforts that make us Canada's most preferred airline."

March 2013 traffic results

  March 2013 March 2012 Change
Load factor 86.1% 86.2% (0.1 pts)
ASMs (billions) 2.124 1.960 8.4%
RPMs (billions) 1.830 1.691 8.2%

  First quarter 2013 First quarter 2012 Change
Load factor 84.3% 83.0% 1.3 pts
ASMs (billions) 6.032 5.690 6.0%
RPMs (billions) 5.088 4.721 7.8%

WestJet has completed its fleet reconfiguration program to include increased legroom on 24 "Plus" seats in each of its Boeing Next Generation 737 aircraft, and beginning mid-April 2013 guests will be able to purchase Plus seats at WestJet's airport kiosks or on the airline's website 24 hours before their flight. In addition to increased legroom, a Plus fare will include convenience features such as priority security and boarding. This is a precursor to the late second-quarter rollout of WestJet's full Plus product, which includes new flexibility and convenience features as well as on-board amenities. Overall, WestJet's Econo, Flex and Plus fare products are designed to give guests choice of a fare product that will meet their needs.

Caution regarding forward-looking statements

Certain information set forth in this news release, including information regarding the demand environment and WestJet's Plus product 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, 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 WestJet

WestJet 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/westjet Follow WestJet on Twitter at www.twitter.com/westjet Subscribe to WestJet on YouTube at www.youtube.com/westjet

SOURCE WestJet

For further information: <p> WestJet Media Relations<br/> 1-888-WJ-4-NEWS (1-888-954-6397)<br/> Email: <a href="mailto:media@westjet.com">media@westjet.com</a><br/> Website: <a href="http://www.westjet.com">www.westjet.com </a> </p> <p> WestJet Investor Relations<br/> 1-877-493-7853<br/> Email: <a href="mailto:investor_relations@westjet.com">investor_relations@westjet.com</a> </p>

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