Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

More people flying, more empty seats on AirCan, WestJet

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Canada's two largest airlines reported increased passenger traffic in June, but their planes flew slightly less full as they both added capacity.

Air Canada said its traffic grew 2.1 per cent on a system-wide capacity increase of 2.8 per cent. Its load factor was 85 per cent, compared with 85.6 per cent a year earlier.

CEO Calin Rovinescu said the load factor, which slipped slightly from last June's record level, underscored the effectively of its capacity management strategy.

"Traffic grew 2.1 per cent system wide for the month, led by the Pacific and domestic Canada markets, he said in a statement.

During the second quarter, Air Canada's load factor was 83 per cent, down from 83.5 per cent a year ago, on a 1.6 per cent increase in traffic and 2.2 per cent growth in capacity. The load factor in Canada was unchanged at 81.7 per cent.

WestJet said its passenger traffic increased more than eight per cent in June, despite some cancellations and weakness following severe floods in southern Alberta.

The Calgary-based airline said its load factor decreased for the fifth consecutive month, falling 2.2 percentage points to 76.8 per cent as capacity increased 11.3 per cent, outpacing traffic gains.

WestJet said it flew nearly nine million passengers in the first half of the year, a 5.7 per cent increase from the prior year and achieved a load factor of 81.9 per cent.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 5, 2013 B15

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