Calgary-based WestJet Airlines Ltd. (TSX:WJA) said its passenger traffic was up 7.2 per cent from May 2011, while fleet capacity and yield also improved. WestJet said it flew more than 100,000 additional passengers compared with last May.
"We are very pleased with this month's load factor and forward bookings are showing continued strength as we head into the busy summer flying season," WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky said in a news release.
WestJet's load factor, which measures how much of its fleet capacity was used, increased by 4.4 percentage points to 79.2 per cent.
The improvement came as WestJet's revenue passenger miles, a measure of traffic, increased by 7.2 per cent to nearly 1.4 billion from 1.3 billion RPM in May 2011.
WestJet's fleet capacity grew more slowly to 1.76 billion available seat miles, up 1.3 per cent from 1.74 billion ASM a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Toronto-based regional carrier Porter Airlines said it has just had a record May in terms of passenger traffic and yield.
Porter said business travel has been strong and travel by vacationers has become a more consistent.
The Toronto-based airline said its had almost 30,000 more passengers year-over-year with more than 212,000 passengers in May.
Another monthly record was also set for passenger numbers, which improved to above 212,000, nearly 30,000 more year-over-year.
"Business travel is strong at this time of year and we are also seeing leisure travel become a more consistent part of our regular passenger mix,'' said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines.
"Competitive pricing and an emphasis on service continue to distinguish us in the minds of travellers."