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Westjet Airlines president and CEO Gregg Saretsky sits in the cockpit of a Q400 regional airliner in Calgary, June 28, 2012. Westjet will begin receiving the Q400 in 2013.
Westjet Airlines president and CEO Gregg Saretsky sits in the cockpit of a Q400 regional airliner in Calgary, June 28, 2012. Westjet will begin receiving the Q400 in 2013.
(Larry MacDougal/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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WestJet expansion likely rules out an encore performance

Enjoy WestJet Airlines Ltd.’s soaring third-quarter financial results. As good as they are, they make for a near-impossible act to follow for the Calgary-based carrier.

WestJet’s 80-per-cent jump in profit from a year earlier – far above the Street’s expectations – reflected high passenger demand at the same time the company was keeping a lid on its seating capacity. The resulting record loads (85 per cent of seats were filled in the quarter) allowed the airline to keep ticket prices high while its expenses remained contained – fuelling an operating margin of 12.5 per cent in the quarter, the company’s highest in three years.