Both Air Canada and WestJet have reported improvements in their system wide load factors for the month of April as signs of an improving business and overall economic climate. Air Canada reported a system load factor of 82.4% on a consolidated basis with Jazz , versus 81.1% in April 2009, an increase of 1.3%. The carrier’s system traffic increased 1.0% while system wide capacity decreased 0.7%. The system wide capacity decrease was approximately 3.0% points below expected levels, the result of cancelled flights to and from Europe due to volcanic activity affecting European air space in mid-April.
“This marks the fifth consecutive month that our traffic has increased for the same period, year-over-year. Despite the negative impact of volcanic activity on transatlantic operations, Air Canada maintained a strong performance recording increases in traffic and load factors in all other markets,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our employees embraced a ‘just do it’ attitude across the company to take care of thousands of customers impacted world wide by this disruption to European air travel. As a result of their hard work and team spirit, we were able to resume a stable operation quickly and safely. Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. I am particularly proud of our employees who under these extraordinary circumstances exceeded both Customer Satisfaction and On-Time Performance objectives for the month, achieving on-time arrivals performance of 81% for April.”
WestJet’s April load factor came in at a record 84.0% on increased capacity of 8.3% for the Calgary based airline. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs) increased 12.1% year over yea. The carrier flew an additional 70,000 guests in April 2010 compared to April 2009.
“We are very pleased to report double-digit improvements in traffic and our highest-ever April load factor while growing capacity,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “We can attribute this successful growth to our expansion in southern markets and the ongoing contributions that WestJet Vacations is making to our business.”