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August 01, 2008 | General

Extraordinary U.S. market growth at EIA defies North
American downturn

Number of U.S. seats to increase 38.3 per cent in 2008;
WestJet adds U.S. and Sun destinations

A U.S. economic slide isn’t stopping double-digit passenger
growth and seat capacity increases between Edmonton International
Airport (EIA) and its 10 non-stop U.S. destinations. Edmonton’s
robust economy is bucking the North American-wide trend for deep
airline capacity reductions, especially in the U.S.

The outlook for continued growth was bolstered earlier this week
with significant flight additions and capacity increases announced
by WestJet. EIA currently serves 41 daily flights to and from
the 10 U.S. destinations and that number will climb to 48
per daily in November 2008. The new flights are scheduled to
begin in November, lifting EIA’s U.S. capacity increase to 38.3 per
cent compared to November 2007, an extraordinary figure when set
against the backdrop of high fuel prices and capacity decreases in
U.S. routes and some Canada-U.S. routes in other Canadian
cities.

“Overall, our passenger numbers to the end of June have increased
by seven per cent over the same time period in 2007, which was a
record-breaking year for us,” says Peter McCart, EIA
Vice-President, Marketing. “This strong growth is underpinned by
remarkable 14 per cent passenger growth in the U.S. market,
indicating Edmonton’s and Northwestern Canada’s economies remain
strong in an overall softening North American economy.”


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