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The Globe and Mail

Air Canada posts record load factor in December, 2013

Air Canada jets sit by the gates at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Toronto on April 25 2013.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Air Canada posted a record number of filled seats for the month of December and for 2013, boosted by a 6.4 per cent jump in traffic in the U.S. transborder market.

The country's largest airline said its load factor reached 82.7 per cent for December, up from 82.1 per cent in the year-earlier period.

The airline's total system-wide traffic – including its Rouge discount carrier – was up 4.8 per cent on a 4-per-cent increase in capacity in December.

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Load factor refers to the number of seats a carrier is able to fill.

On the domestic front, however, Air Canada put in a weaker performance.

The load factor in December on domestic flights fell 1.3 percentage points to 82.4 per cent. Traffic was up 4.6 per cent and capacity increased 6.3 per cent.

For the full year, the load factor was a record 82.8 per cent, up from 82.7 per cent.

"Led by an increase in traffic in the U.S. transborder market of 6.4 per cent, Air Canada generated greater traffic for the month of December in all markets the airline serves with system wide growth of 4.8 per cent on a capacity increase of 4.0 per cent," Air Canada president and chief executive officer Calin Rovinescu said in a news release.

"These strong results, for both the month and full year, underscore the effectiveness of Air Canada's disciplined capacity management and our award winning product."

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