WestJet improves load factor; Air Canada slips

WestJet (TSX:WJA) said Monday that its flights had fewer empty seats in September compared with a year ago as the airline cut capacity.

CALGARY — WestJet (TSX:WJA) said Monday that its flights had fewer empty seats in September compared with a year ago as the airline cut capacity.

Meanwhile, Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) reported a slight increase in the proportion of empty seats on its flights compared with a year ago as the number of travellers fell faster than it cut capacity.

WestJet reported a load factor — or proportion of seats filled —of 77 per cent for September, up from 75.5 per cent a year ago.

Revenue passenger miles increased 0.4 per cent year over year, while capacity, measured in available seat miles, fell 2.5 per cent over the same period.

Air Canada reported a load factor of 79.7 per cent compared with 79.9 per cent in September 2008.

System traffic fell 2.1 per cent as capacity was cut two per cent system wide.

“This result is in line with last year’s record-setting load factor for the month and is attributable to our on-going disciplined approach to capacity management,” said Air Canada president Calin Rovinescu in a statement.