What’s new with WestJet: YYT-FLL nonstops & Q3 profitability
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Two new routes & a profitable Q3 for WestJet

CALGARY — WestJet has announced two new transborder routes following the release of its third quarter results for 2018.

Starting March 3, 2019, the airline will begin operations between Calgary International Airport (YYC) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), making it the only airline flying nonstop between the two cities.

Flights will run six times weekly between Calgary and Atlanta, moving to daily on April 7, 2019.

Atlanta, the world’s largest airline hub, is the home of Delta Airlines, a WestJet codeshare partner since 2011. Together with Delta, via ATL, WestJet will offer codeshare access to an extensive list of U.S. destinations, including the southeastern United States and the Gulf Coast, as well as cities like Memphis, Teen., Charleston, S.C., New Orleans, La., Savannah, Ga., Pensacola and Panama City, Fla.

In addition to Atlanta, WestJet will also offer nonstop service from St. John’s to Fort Lauderdale this winter. The once-weekly service, available on a limited basis, kicks off on March 11, 2019 and will run until May 13, 2019.

This brings WestJet’s winter weekly departures out of St. John’s to 29, which also include nonstops to Orlando, Toronto and Halifax.

The news comes on the heels of WestJet’s Q3 report, which shows a net earnings of $45.9 million. Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO, said that the airline Is “pleased to return to profitability in the third quarter.”

However, this is down from a profit of $135.9 million in the same quarter last year, a drop that WestJet says is due to an increasingly competitive environment and rising fuel prices.

Aircraft fuel costs per litre were up 37.1 per cent compared with a year ago.

WestJet’s capacity (measured by available seat miles) in the quarter was up 9.9% from a year ago, while traffic (measured by revenue passenger miles) in the quarter increased 8.6%.

Its load factor decreased to 84.6% compared with 85.7% a year ago.

Revenue totalled $1.26 billion for the quarter, which included the busy summer travel period, up from $1.21 billion a year earlier.

On achieving profitability in the third quarter, Sims added: “We have achieved this result despite continued downward pressure from the dramatic increases in fuel price and competitive capacity, along with the lingering impact of the threat of industrial action. We now look forward to the delivery of our first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in late January, and starting direct services in Spring 2019 from Calgary to London (Gatwick), Paris, and Dublin. I would like to thank every WestJetter for their focus on delivering award-winning service to our guests.”