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Labour dispute, fuel costs lead to rare loss for WestJet

Labour dispute, fuel costs lead to rare loss for WestJet

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

CALGARY — WestJet reported a rare loss of $20.8 million in the second quarter as it was beset by a labour dispute with its pilots, higher fuel prices and increased competition.

The loss amounted to 18 cents per share, which was better than analyst estimates, but down from a year-earlier profit of $48.6 million or 41 cents per share.

Analysts had estimated WestJet would have a net loss of 27 cents per share and an adjusted loss of 28 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

WestJet’s revenue was estimated at $1.1 billion but came in below that at $1.09 billion, up 2.8 per cent from $1.06 billion in last year’s second quarter.

The company avoided a strike by its pilots by agreeing to a mediated settlement process in May but uncertainty about the outcome of their dispute had a negative effect on WestJet’s bookings.

In addition, the cost of fuel was up 30.6 per cent year-over-year, similar to an increase reported last week by Air Canada.

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