Airlines report higher traffic

CALGARY — WestJet (TSX:WJA) reported Tuesday that passenger traffic across its system rose 19 per cent year-over-year in June as the travel industry entered its peak summer holiday period.

CALGARY — WestJet (TSX:WJA) reported Tuesday that passenger traffic across its system rose 19 per cent year-over-year in June as the travel industry entered its peak summer holiday period.

The Calgary-based carried said its revenue passenger miles, an industry measure of how many passengers are travelling on planes, rose to 1.22 billion from 1.03 billion during the month and load factor — or total capacity used — was 78.2 per cent compared to year-ago 72.9 per cent.

“Since June is a month when we transition into the peak travel season, we are very encouraged with this month’s strong load factor, particularly with our significant year-over-year capacity growth,” WestJet president and CEO Gregg Saretsky said in a statement.

Capacity, measured in available seat miles, grew 10.9 per cent to 1.57 billion.

For the second quarter, passenger traffic was up 16.4 per cent, load factor was up 3.9 percentage points and capacity grew 10.9 per cent. Meanwhile, Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) reported a system load factor of 84.7 per cent on a consolidated basis with Jazz (TSX:JAZ.UN), its regional partner, compared with 80.9 per cent in June 2009.

System traffic increased 15 per cent on a system wide capacity increase of 9.9 per cent.