* Capacity and traffic are up
* WestJet’s traffic measured by revenue passenger miles increased 7.9 per cent compared with a year ago.
Canada’s WestJet Airlines Ltd on Tuesday reported a third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as the carrier flew a record number of passengers in the quarter.
WestJet’s revenue per available seat mile (RASM), an indicator of an airline’s efficiency, rose 2.2 per cent in the quarter.
The company said its load factor, which measures how effectively a carrier fills seats, rose to 85.7 per cent from 84 per cent a year earlier.
The Calgary-based carrier said it flew 6.5 million passengers in the quarter, helping revenue increase 8.1 per cent to $1.22 billion. Net earnings rose to $138.4 million, or $1.18 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $116 million, or 97 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.14 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Airlines have been cutting costs and upgrading their fleets with fuel-efficient aircraft amid higher fuel costs after oil prices rebounded from multi-year lows in 2016.
Last week, WestJet’s bigger rival Air Canada beat analysts’ profit estimates on lower costs and higher yield.