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Air Canada, WestJet increase July load factors amid higher passenger traffic

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Canada's major airlines had a busy July.

Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) reports that last month's load factor was a 86.7 per cent, a record for the Montreal-based airline and ahead of WestJet's 83.3 per cent.

The load factor reflects how much of an airline's fleet capacity has been used by passengers.

Air Canada also reported its overall fleet capacity was up 11.4 per cent compared with a year before, while passenger traffic was up 12.7 per cent.

Earlier Wednesday, WestJet (TSX:WJA) reported a load factor of 83.3 per cent, up 0.2 percentage points year-over-year, while revenue passenger miles, or traffic, increased 6.7 per cent.

WestJet's capacity grew 6.6 per cent over the same period.

RBC Dominion Securities analyst Walter Spracklin says the higher load factors "continue to highlight the strength of the Canadian travel demand environment."

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