WestJet Airlines Ltd. says it earned $45.6 million or 40 cents per diluted share for the quarter. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

WestJet Airlines reports first-quarter profit up, beats expectations

CALGARY — WestJet Airlines Ltd. topped expectations as it reported its first-quarter profit climbed more than 30 per cent compared with a year ago.

The airline says it earned $45.6 million or 40 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31 compared with a profit of $34.2 million or 30 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue totalled $1.26 billion, up from $1.19 billion in the same quarter last year.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 30 cents per share and revenue of $1.28 billion, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

The increased profit came as WestJet saw both its capacity, measured by available seat miles, and its traffic, measured by revenue passenger miles, climb by 5.3 per cent compared with a year ago.

WestJet’s load factor, a measure of how full its aircraft were, held steady at 84.8 per cent in the quarter.

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