Air Canada Loads Rising, While WestJet Dips For 4th Straight Month

Open Jaw

WestJet filled 81.3% of its seats in March, which would normally be considered a solid total. But the number marked the 4 th straight month where loads have dipped year-over-year. To add insult to injury, rival Air Canada headed in the other direction, filling 83.1% of its seats in March, up from 81.7% in the year-before March.

Despite the drop in load factor, WS still carried a record 1.7 million guests in March, 2015. Traffic was up 1.5% year-over-year while capacity grew 4.8% over the same period.

"We continue to be pleased with our traffic growth as a record number of guests chose to fly with us, including on our fast growing regional airline WestJet Encore," said WestJet President & CEO Gregg Saretsky. "As expected, we have seen industry supply increases in certain southern markets running ahead of demand resulting in depressed load factors. Despite this, the overall demand environment remains strong."

AC had a very strong month, reporting a traffic jump of 12.9% on a system-wide capacity increase of 11.1%.

"Air Canada generated greater traffic in all markets resulting in an unprecedented volume of passengers transported for the month. Our traffic increase was led by significant growth in the U.S. transborder, Atlantic, Pacific and Latin American and Caribbean markets," said Calin Rovinescu, President & Chief Executive Officer.

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