Despite Capacity Boosts, AC & WS Post High 2014 Load Factors
If you had to choose one area where Canadian airlines have improved drastically in the past couple of decades, efficiently filling seats would definitely be in the running. Both of Canada’s major airlines posted full-year load factors of over 80%.
Air Canada led the way in 2014, recording a full year load factor of 83.4%, its best-ever result. WestJet filled 81.4% of its seats in 2014, down slightly from last year and the 3rd best full year result in its history.
Both airlines achieved these results while significantly increasing capacity. AC full year capacity was up 8.5%, while WestJet added 6.3% more seats for the year.
"I am pleased to report our highest load factor ever for the full year 2014 and 2nd highest for the month of December on continued strong traffic growth of 8.5% and 8.3%, respectively," said Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada President & Chief Executive Officer. "Led by an increase in traffic in the U.S. transborder market of 16.2%, Air Canada generated greater traffic for the month of December in all markets the airline serves. These strong results, for both the month and full year, underscore the effectiveness of our commercial strategy focusing on international growth and the strategic deployment of Air Canada rouge to compete more effectively in leisure markets.”
For the month of December 2014, AC reported a system load factor of 82.6%, just slightly below the record 82.7% set last December.
WestJet flew a record 19.7 million pax in the full year 2014, a year-over-year increase of 6.3% or approximately 1.2 million additional pax. "We are very pleased with the strong traffic growth we saw throughout 2014, welcoming a record 4.8 million guests on board in the 4th quarter to finish the year with our 3rd highest 4th quarter and full year load factors," said WestJet President & CEO Gregg Saretsky.