National News

WestJet has net profit of $51.8M in Q2

By The Canadian Press

CALGARY - WestJet says it recorded higher net earnings of $51.8 million in the second quarter, or 40 cents per share diluted, the airline's 37th consecutive profitable quarter.

That's up from with net earnings of $44.7 million, or 34 cents per share, in the second quarter of last year.

The Calgary-based airline's revenue in the period was $930.3 million, a gain of 10.3 per cent over the same period a year ago.

Analysts had estimated $912.7 million in revenues on 27 cents adjusted earnings per share, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.

WestJet said it was in the advanced stages of sourcing aircraft for its entry into wide-body service for possible international expansion. It recently selected four Boeing 767-300ERW series aircraft to operate on routes between Alberta and Hawaii during the winter beginning in late 2015.

The bigger planes will offer greater range than WestJet's current fleet of Boeing 737s and allow it to compete with Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) on more routes.

WestJet (TSX:WJA) has said it plans to operate four wide-body planes initially for the 2015 winter season.

The airline says it expects to expand its operation into overseas markets starting in the summer of 2016.

"We continue to execute on our growth plans, including new service to Dublin, Ireland, success with our fare bundles initiative, and the expansion of WestJet Encore," WestJet president and CEO Gregg Saretsky said in a statement on Tuesday.

WestJet began flying between St. John's, N.L., and Dublin last month.

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