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WestJet enjoys continued growth during downturn

"Never waste a crisis." It is an adage many companies will follow.

"Never waste a crisis." It is an adage many companies will follow.

"This is when the billions are going to be made," said Haskayne School of Business Dean Leonard Waverman. He said companies which are willing to take risks and have the monetary resources to do so will profit from the expected upturn in the economy when it comes.

One of those companies looking to grow is WestJet.

"When times are in consternation, or the markets are in consternation, there is great opportunity. There always is. We have a balance sheet that can take advantage of that," said WestJet president and CEO, Sean Durfy. The airline posted net earnings of $178 million dollars in 2008.

"When businesses are going bankrupt and people are getting laid-off, we are continuing to grow."

Nine aircraft are on the way in 2009, which should mean around 720 new jobs. There is also talk of the company changing from its usual model of organic growth to one which includes possible take-overs.

 
 
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