WestJet reports first loss in 13 years for Q2

Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet has reported a net loss of C$20.8 million in its Q2 2018 financial release – the first quarterly loss for the carrier in 13 years, and a more than 140 percent decline compared to the same period in 2017.

WestJet’s CEO, Ed Sims, said the dramatic change in bottom-line was due to “the impact of the threat of industrial action, in combination with the dramatic increase in fuel price and competitive capacity.”

WestJet’s CFO, Harry Taylor, said during the earnings call that customer concerns over a potential strike let to a significant number of cancelled bookings during the quarter, and that WestJet was compelled to lower fares in response to “bring people back.” The increase in fuel prices also led to a 34.4 percent increase in year-over-year fuel expenses for the quarter

While net losses were substantial during the quarter, the airline is moving forward with new endeavors, in the form of new partnerships and fleet expansions. Earlier this month, WestJet entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with U.S.-based Delta Airlines to expand their existing codeshare partnership and “cooperate on cargo accompanying passenger flights, as well as corporate contracts.”

WestJet’s fleet is currently comprised of 123 narrowbody jets and is soon expanding to include 10 widebody 787-9s, which are on order for delivery next year.

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