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WestJet has announced its third quarter 2013 results, with net earnings of $65.1 million, or $0.50 per diluted share. This compares with the net earnings of $70.6 million, or $0.52 per diluted share reported in the third quarter of 2012. Based on the trailing 12 months, the airline achieved a return on invested capital of 13.8%, compared with the 14.4% reported in the previous quarter, and one of the best third quarters in WestJet history.

“We had a strong third quarter in which we flew a record number of guests, exceeded our 12% ROIC target for the fifth consecutive quarter, and reached our initial business transformation initiative milestone one year early by implementing and identifying various opportunities which we believe will result in approximately $100 million in future cost savings in 2014,” said WestJet president Gregg Saretsky. “With the market launch of our Plus product in August, we are now providing our business and leisure guests with even more flexibility, comfort and convenience.”

During the third quarter, WestJet continued the roll-out of WestJet Encore, beginning service to Brandon, Manitoba on Sept. 3 and announcing Terrace, BC as a new community that will welcome its first Encore flight on Nov. 25. WestJet Encore also added new non-stop routes joining the dots in WestJet’s network, including flights between Winnipeg and Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Regina and between Vancouver and Kamloops, BC.

WestJet also entered into a definitive purchase agreement for 65 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with deliveries scheduled from 2017 through 2027. This order will enable the airline to enhance its inflight guest experience, support its low-cost business model, and contribute to its profitable growth by utilizing a lower operating cost aircraft that is expected to reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by 13%, as compared with the most fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft currently available. (http://www.westjet.com)

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