WestJet continues profitable streak despite “very difficult operating quarter”

WestJet continues profitable streak despite “very difficult operating quarter”

CALGARY — WestJet achieved its 52nd consecutive quarter of profitability, with a reported net earnings of $37.2 million in Q1 2018.

While remaining profitable in a challenging quarter, this result is down from net earnings of $46.7 million in the first quarter of 2017. The airline did, however, fly an all-time quarterly record of 6.1 million guests, and also recently announced its April traffic results that included a load factor of 86.0%, an increase of 1.2 percentage points year over year.

“Even though winter 2018 brought many operational challenges, we successfully achieved record load factors and increased revenue by 6.9% on a capacity increase of 4.3%,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “I want to thank every individual WestJetter for rising to the challenge through a very difficult operating quarter. Nonetheless, the quarter saw net earnings and margin decline as we continue to invest in the strategy laid out at Investor Day, in a higher fuel environment.”

The airline’s April 2018 traffic results look promising, with increased traffic (RPMs) of 2.8% year over year. Capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs) grew 1.4% over the same period.

WestJet also welcomed an additional 100,000 guests in April, a year-over-year increase of 5.1%.

“We flew a new record of 2.1 million guests in April,” added Sims.

Last month, WestJet announced two nonstop routes: London, Ontario-Vancouver and Quebec City-Calgary, both starting June 29. These limited-edition flights will be offered only during the peak summer season.

WestJet also officially launched service between Halifax and London Gatwick on April 30, marking the start of daily, nonstop service between the two cities. This is the first time the airline has used its newest aircraft, the Boeing 787-8 MAX for transatlantic travel.

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