WestJet Airlines said on Tuesday that reservations for the approaching summer months looked strong as Canada's second-biggest carrier reported that it flew fuller planes in May than a year earlier.
WestJet said its load factor rose to 79.2 percent from 74.8 percent in May 2011 as a 7.2 percent increase in traffic dwarfed a capacity increase of 1.3 percent.
Forward bookings are "showing continued strength as we head into the busy summer flying season," WestJet chief executive Gregg Saretsky said in a statement.
National Bank Financial analyst Cameron Doerksen said the May data puts WestJet on pace to beat his second-quarter load factor estimate of 78 percent.
"We expect June's traffic results to benefit from new routes, in particular between Toronto and New York (LaGuardia)..," Doerksen said in a note to clients.
Low-cost airline WestJet on Monday launched seven daily non-stop flights between Toronto and New York's LaGuardia airport as it continues to muscle in on the business travel market in an attempt to boost revenue and profits.