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A Westjet flight. (Lyle Stafford For The Globe and Mail)
A Westjet flight. (Lyle Stafford For The Globe and Mail)

WestJet planes had fewer empty seats in August Add to ...

Flights on WestJet Airlines Ltd. had fewer empty seats in August compared with a year ago even as the airline increased capacity.

The discount airline reported Tuesday a load factor of 83.3 per cent for August compared with 82.2 per cent a year ago.

The improvement came as the airline saw an increase in revenue passenger miles, or passenger traffic, which was up 7.7 per cent compared with a year ago, while capacity, measured in available seat miles grew 6.2 per cent.

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“We are pleased with the improved August load factor and forward bookings remain healthy as our capacity increases continue to be absorbed by the market,” WestJet president and chief executive Gregg Saretsky said in a statement.

WestJet has scheduled service to 71-cities with a fleet of 96 aircraft.

National Bank analyst Cameron Doerksen maintained an outperform rating on the airline with a target price of $19 per share.

“Since the company should have reasonable visibility into September bookings, we believe that this positive outlook bodes well for the full quarter load factor,” Doerksen wrote in a note to clients.

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