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WestJet Reports March Load Factor of 81.3 Per Cent

WestJet today announced March 2015 traffic results with a load factor of 81.3 per cent. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), or traffic, increased 1.5 per cent year-over-year, and capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs), grew 4.8 per cent over the same period. The airline flew a record 4.9 million guests in the first quarter, a year-over-year increase of 2.2 per cent or approximately 108,000 additional guests, and achieved an on-time performance rate of 84.8 per cent in the month of March, a year-over-year improvement of 8.7 percentage points.

"We continue to be pleased with our traffic growth as a record number of guests chose to fly with us, including on our fast growing regional airline WestJet Encore," said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. "As expected, we have seen industry supply increases in certain southern markets running ahead of demand resulting in depressed load factors. Despite this, the overall demand environment remains strong and first quarter RASM is expected to be in line with prior guidance. I want to thank all WestJetters for their dedication to providing our growing number of guests with a safe and remarkable travel experience."

March 2015 traffic results

  March 2015 March 2014 Change
Load factor 81.3% 84.0% (2.7 pts)
ASMs (billions) 2.373 2.265 4.8%
RPMs (billions) 1.930 1.902 1.5%

  First quarter 2015 First quarter 2014 Change
Load factor 81.6% 83.1% (1.5 pts)
ASMs (billions) 6.819 6.515 4.7%
RPMs (billions) 5.566 5.416 2.8%

In March, WestJet announced that flights between Alberta and Hawaii beginning in December are available for booking on its newly-acquired Boeing 767 wide-body aircraft. These aircraft are configured with 24 seats in Plus, offering wider seats and more leg room with more recline in a 2-2-2 configuration, meaning each set of two seats is separated by an aisle. There are 238 seats in the main cabin, and all seats have access to power for personal electronic devices such as tablets or phones. The 767s will be redeployed in summer 2016 to new and exciting international destinations that will be announced later in 2015.

Caution regarding forward-looking information
Certain information set forth in this news release, including, without limitation, information regarding our expectation that first quarter RASM is expected to be in line with prior guidance and the timing of our future announcement with respect to the 767s is forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities. By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond the Corporation's control, including those risk factors described in WestJet's public reports and filings which are available under WestJet's profile at www.sedar.com.  Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking information. WestJet does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking information as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.

About WestJet
We are proud to be Canada's most-preferred airline, powered by an award-winning culture of care and recognized as one of the country's top employers. We offer scheduled service to more than 90 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. Through our regional airline, WestJet Encore, and with partnerships with airlines representing every major region of the world, we offer our guests more than 120 destinations in more than 20 countries. Leveraging WestJet's extensive network, flight schedule and remarkable guest experience, WestJet Vacations delivers affordable, flexible travel experiences with a variety of accommodation options for every guest. Members of our WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Our members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of WestJet flights and vacation packages on any day, at any time, to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods - even on seat sales. For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com.

Recent recognition includes:

2015 Best Employers in Canada (Aon Hewitt)
2014 Interbrand Canada's Best Canadian Brands (Rank #20)
2014 Brands of the Year (Strategy magazine)
2014 Canada's Most Preferred Airline (Ipsos)
2014 Value Airline of the Year (Air Transport World magazine)
2014/2013/2012 Canada's Most Attractive Employer (Randstad)
2014/2013 WestJet RBC MasterCard ranked #1 in Canada (Money Sense magazine and RewardsCanada.ca)
2013 Highest equity score: airline, vacation package supplier brands (Harris/Decima EquiTrend Study)

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WestJet