Wednesday, October 05, 2011

WestJet planes less full in September, Porter Airlines sets records

MONTREAL — WestJet Airlines says its planes were less full in September as passenger traffic failed to keep pace with its increased capacity despite higher purchases of discounted fares.

The Calgary-based carrier reported Wednesday a load factor of 74.7 per cent for September compared with 75.5 per cent a year ago.

WestJet's traffic or revenues passenger miles, increased 6.9 per cent while capacity grew eight per cent in the period.

Overall, the airline flew 76,000 more passengers this September compared to last year and said its forward bookings remain healthy as it begins to transition to the winter schedule.

For the third quarter, WestJet's load factor was 80.1 per cent, compared to 79.6 per cent a year earlier. Traffic grew 7.7 per cent while capacity was up 7.13 per cent.

Porter Airlines reported that it flew a record 212,000 revenue passenger miles in September as its load factor increased 12.2 points to 68 per cent.

Traffic from its hub at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport increased nearly 47 per cent while capacity grew 20 per cent.

September is typically a slower month so the ability to maintain its load factor close to August's level is a good sign as it enters the final quarter of the year, said CEO Robert Deluce.

Air Canada  is expected to report its September traffic numbers later in the day.

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