August demand was strong, says IATA, but growth may be slowing down

Both AC, WS post 78.6% load factors; a drop for WS, a jump for AC

MONTREAL — Air Canada had a record load factor last month, edging up from 77.7% in November 2014 to 78.6% in November 2015. Capacity increased 9.5% and traffic was up 10.8%. All figures are system-wide including regional airlines from which Air Canada purchases capacity, and Air Canada rouge.

“Air Canada generated greater traffic in all markets served, led by international and U.S. transborder markets,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu.  “These consistently strong results achieved after the traditional peak summer travel season demonstrate the effectiveness of our commercial strategy focusing on international growth and the strategic deployment of Air Canada rouge.

“In particular, our expanding global network provides us with a lower risk, diversified route portfolio that more than offsets the current economic slowdown in Western Canada.”

WestJet’s November load factor was also 78.6%, down from 80.5% in the same month last year.

Traffic decreased 2.7% year over year, and capacity was down 0.3%. The airline flew 1.5 million passengers in November, 2015, approximately flat with November 2014, and achieved an on-time performance rate of 89.8%.

“While loads across much of our network were generally in line with very strong prior year performance, softness in certain southern and Alberta markets resulted in a modest system load factor decline,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky.