Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Record number of butts in seats

Air Canada boosted by U.S. traffic

  • Print
Air Canada's low-cost Rouge operations, which launched July 1, are included in results that show the airline flew a record number of filled seats in 2013.

CHRIS YOUNG / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Air Canada's low-cost Rouge operations, which launched July 1, are included in results that show the airline flew a record number of filled seats in 2013.

Air Canada's planes flew with a record number of filled seats in December and in 2013 as its system-wide traffic outpaced the increase in capacity despite the challenges of tough domestic competition.

The country's largest airline said its load factor increased to 82.7 per cent in December, up from 82.1 per cent a year earlier. Fuelled by a 6.4 per cent boost in U.S. transborder traffic, total system-wide traffic increased 4.8 per cent on a four per cent increase in capacity.

However, the carrier's domestic flights took off with a slightly greater proportion of empty seats in December as the load factor dipped 1.3 percentage points to 82.4 per cent. Traffic increased 4.6 per cent while capacity grew by 6.3 per cent.

The load factor on U.S. transborder flights increased by three percentage points to 78.6 per cent in the month as traffic growth nearly tripled the 2.3 per cent increase in capacity.

Flights across the Atlantic were less full, but flights on Pacific routes and to Latin America and the Caribbean were up.

Air Canada's results include its low-cost Air Canada Rouge operations, which launched July 1, and regional airlines from which Air Canada purchases capacity.

For the full year, the load factor increased by 0.1 percentage point to 82.8 per cent. Traffic grew by 2.1 per cent, outpacing the 1.9 per cent increase in capacity.

"These strong results, for both the month and full year, underscore the effectiveness of Air Canada's disciplined capacity management and our award-winning product," stated CEO Calin Rovinescu.

Domestic traffic increased 2.1 per cent in 2013, ahead of the 1.9 per cent increase in capacity, pushing the load factor up by 0.2 percentage points to 82.8 per cent.

Transborder traffic increased 1.7 per cent on a 2.1 per cent decrease in capacity.

WestJet Airlines Ltd. (TSX:WJA) said Monday its load factor dipped in December to 81.7 per cent, from 81.9 per cent a year ago.

Passenger traffic grew 7.2 per cent last month compared with last year, while capacity increased 7.4 per cent.

For the full year, WestJet reported a load factor of 81.7 per cent, down from 82.8 per cent in 2012. Capacity increased 8.6 per cent, while passenger traffic increased 7.3 per cent.

"We are very pleased to finish the year with our second-highest fourth quarter and full-year load factors," WestJet president and chief executive Gregg Saretsky said in a statement.

The increase in capacity came as WestJet launched regional service WestJet Encore, which flies to smaller communities using Bombardier's Q400 turboprops.

The regional airline started flying in Western Canada this year and plans to launch in Toronto next summer.

Air Canada has countered by adding Q400s flown by Jazz in the west, while both carriers face Porter Airlines, which flies to Eastern Canada from its base at Toronto's downtown island airport.

Air Canada will expand its relationship with Air Georgian, which will operate additional routes in Canada and the U.S. in mid-2014, as it looks to reduce costs and protect its turf from WestJet Encore.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 7, 2014 B8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Family of Matias De Antonio speaks outside Law Courts

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A group of Horese pose for the camera in the early evening light at Southcreek Stables in Stl Norbert Wednessday. Sept  14, 2011 (RUTH BONNEVILLE) / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Two Canadian geese perch themselves for a perfect view looking at the surroundings from the top of a railway bridge near Lombard Ave and Waterfront Drive in downtown Winnipeg- Standup photo- May 01, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google