January load factor reaches 80.1% for Air Canada, WestJet

January load factor reaches 80.1% for Air Canada, WestJet

MONTREAL — Air Canada saw a system-wide capacity increase of 7.1% and a record load factor of 80.1%, tying last year’s record. On this additional capacity, traffic increased 7.1%. Air Canada reports traffic results on a system-wide basis, including regional airlines from which Air Canada purchases capacity and Air Canada rouge.

“In January Air Canada generated greater traffic in all markets served led by Atlantic, Pacific, Latin American and Caribbean markets in which we also achieved increases in load factors from the previous year,” said Air Canada President and CEO Calin Rovinescu.  “These strong results underscore the effectiveness of our commercial strategy with its focus on international growth, aggressive expansion of Air Canada rouge in leisure markets, focus on sixth freedom traffic to feed Canadian hubs, Boeing 777 aircraft seat densification, introduction of a Premium Economy product, A++ Joint Venture with Star Alliance partners and regional airline diversification.

“This strategy along with the transformative changes we have made in recent years provide us with the cost structure, fleet and flexibility to respond not only to competitive market conditions, but also to fluctuations in the Canadian dollar and economic downturns,” he added. “We have a proven track record of proactively and effectively managing capacity to meet demand and we will continue to adjust capacity to maximize profitability.”

At WestJet, January traffic increased 7.8% year over year with a record 1.7 million passengers. The load factor was 80.1% based on 7% capacity growth. While WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky said he was pleased with the strong January traffic growth to start off 2016, the airline continues to feel pressure in Alberta, first reducing service on some routes and now discounting.