Dec 5 Air Canada and WestJet Airlines
, Canada's largest airlines, flew more passengers in
November as demand for air travel remains robust, while regional
carrier Porter Airlines reported a slump from last year's
Air Canada, the country's biggest airline, said its load
factor, or the percentage of available seats filled with paying
customers, rose to 78.1 percent in November from 75.9 percent a
Chief Executive Calin Rovinescu said last month's load
factor was its second highest ever. The October load factor was
a record 82.9 percent.
Traffic increased 4.6 percent as capacity rose 1.7 percent.
Traffic increased 6.9 percent in Asia Pacific markets, and 7
percent in the Australia, Caribbean, Mexico and Central and
South America markets, the company said.
Calgary-based WestJet said its load factor increased to 82.6
percent, a new record, from 77.6 percent a year earlier.
WestJet's year-to-date load factor also rose 3.3 percentage
points to 82.9 percent.
"Our airline partnership strategy and growing number of
business travelers are contributing to our positive momentum,"
WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky said.
Traffic was up 8.3 percent while capacity rose 1.7 percent.
Privately held Porter Airlines, a smaller short-haul
carrier, reported emptier planes in November.
Toronto-based Porter reported a load factor of 54.5 percent,
down 11.4 percentage points, from a year earlier.
Air Canada's shares closed at C$1.80, while WestJet shares
closed at C$19.36 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.