August 4, 2011 / 12:57 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-WestJet profits jump on higher fares

* Q2 2011 EPS C$0.18 vs Q2 2010 EPS C$0.05

* RASM rises 10.8 pct

* CASM up 7.8 pct

VANCOUVER, Aug 4 (Reuters) - WestJet Airlines Ltd (WJA.TO) reported a rise of nearly four-fold in quarterly earnings on Thursday as it kept costs in check and raised fares to offset higher fuel prices.

WestJet, Canada’s second-biggest airline, said second-quarter profit rose to C$25.6 million ($26.3 million), or 18 Canadian cents a share, in the three months to the end of June. That compared with earnings of C$6.8 million, or 5 Canadian cents, in the same period a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had forecast earnings of 9 Canadian cents a share for WestJet. The airline was launched in 1996 and is modeled on U.S. low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N).

WestJet said its revenue per available seat mile rose 10.8 percent in the second quarter. The industry uses the measure to compare revenue performance between carriers.

The airline’s costs per available seat mile rose 7.8 percent in the quarter. ($1 = $0.97 Canadian) (Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Janet Guttsman)

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