MONTRÉAL/CALGARY — Both Air Canada and WestJet reported high load factors during January, normally a weak month for air traffic, and this strong demand means the carrier have little incentive to cut fares because of lower fuel prices.
Air Canada reported a record system load factor of 80.1%, versus 80% in January 2014, on a system-wide capacity increase of 8.3%. On this additional capacity, system wide traffic for January increased 8.4%. Air Canada reports traffic results on a system-wide basis, including regional airlines from which Air Canada purchases capacity and Air Canada rouge.
WestJet posted a load factor of 79.5%, down 1.4 percentage points. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 3.6% year over year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 5.5% over the same period. The airline flew a record 1.6 million guests in January, a year-over-year increase of 2.0% or approximately 32,000 additional guests.