World Bank loans Uruguay 185 million to tackle foot and mouth disease

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

“With more than 6 per cent of Uruguay’s GDP and almost 20 per cent of total exports related to livestock production, every effort should be made to eradicate this disease with no borders,” said Myrna Alexander, World Bank Director for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, in a statement issued today. “The Bank is signalling its commitment to support this effort.” The Project, to be implemented over a period of two years, will provide technical and financial support to the Government of Uruguay to help contain and mitigate the impact of the outbreak. “With support from the Project, we are confident that Uruguay will rapidly regain the Foot and Mouth Disease-free status (without vaccination) it enjoyed from May 1996 to April 2001,” said Michael Carroll, the World Bank task manager for the Project. The loan will also support training, education and awareness programmes to increase the information about disease prevention to producers and the public.The $18.5 million, fixed-spread loan has a 15-year maturity, including a 5-year grace period. read more


UN releases preliminary budget estimates for International Criminal Court

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

The draft budget for the ICC prepared by the UN says that if a case were referred to the Court, its first-year expenditures would amount to $30.1 million. The report points out that savings of over $109,000 could be realized if related meetings, such as those of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute which established the Court, are held in New York instead of at The Hague, where the ICC will be based. All budget projections are provisional, according to the report, which states that “it should be clearly understood that these estimates are by their very nature indicative and that the precise level of resource requirements will only emerge in the light of experience and as States parties make decisions as to the size and composition of organizational units which they wish to finance.” It is not yet known when the Court will begin to operate. Under the Rome Statute, the ICC will come into existence once 60 States have ratified the document. Currently, there are 37 parties to the Statute, while a total of 139 countries have signed it. read more


UN officials discuss recovery effort with new female Afghan ministers in Kabul

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

During the meeting, Dr. Samar called for the UN’s continuing support of her Ministry’s work and specifically for logistical help in setting up her office. Earlier this week, a team from the UN World Health Organization (WHO) met with another woman who was recently appointed to a senior position in the interim government — Dr. Sohila Sediq, Afghan Public Health Minister. Dr. Sediq expressed gratitude for the support WHO had provided to Afghanistan over many years and requested that the agency maintain a strong presence in the country to help strengthen national authorities.Dr. Sediq also highlighted the urgent need to rehabilitate Afghanistan’s health infrastructure, which has suffered from years of destruction and lack of maintenance, as well to ensure a regular supply of medicines and vaccines. In addition, she asked WHO, along with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to help reactivate medical training for female health workers, whom she described as a “crucial asset” for Afghanistan’s health system. read more


UN starts search for abandoned radioactive sources in Georgia

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is organizing the two-week search for Strontium 90 generators in a 550 square kilometre area of western Georgia. The effort will involve some 80 people, mostly Georgian nationals, as well as radiation experts from the IAEA, India, France, Turkey and the United States, who will set out on horseback, foot and by car.Six highly radioactive Strontium 90 sources, which were used as thermo-electric generators for communication stations in remote areas, have been recovered so far, and the IAEA believes that two more remain at large. The Agency has been working since 1997 to upgrade levels of radiation safety and security in the country, where over 280 radioactive sources have been recovered since the mid-1990s. Some of these sources were discovered on abandoned Soviet military bases and all have been placed in safe storage.The search marks the first operational phase of an action plan to conduct IAEA-supported radiological surveys of selected areas in Georgia. The action plan covers two phases of a campaign to survey selected areas of Georgia with sensitive radiation detectors and instruments to locate so-called “orphan” radiation sources that are outside of regulatory control.”The situation in Georgia may just be an indication of the serious safety and security implications orphaned sources may have elsewhere in the world,” said Abel Gonzalez, IAEA Director of Radiation and Waste Safety. “The IAEA’s work in Georgia is part of a comprehensive plan that includes Agency assistance to States to help them regain control of such orphan sources.”The second phase – an aerial and road survey covering different territory – is scheduled to begin in early September. The objective is to locate and recover other known or suspected orphaned radioactive sources in the country. read more


Inspectors needed to ensure DPR of Korea compliance with nuclear safeguards –

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

“Together with the loss of cameras and seals, the departure of inspectors would practically bring to an end our ability to monitor DPRK’s nuclear programme or assess its nature,” Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a letter responding to Pyongyang’s correspondence earlier Friday. “This is one further step away from diffusing the crisis.”The Agency confirmed that Mr. ElBaradei had received a letter from Ri Je Son, Director General of the DPRK’s General Department of Atomic Energy, requesting the immediate removal of IAEA inspectors from the country in light of its decision to lift the “freeze” on its nuclear facilities.In his letter in response, Mr. ElBaradei stressed that notwithstanding the lifting of the freeze under the 1994 Agreed Framework, the presence of inspectors was needed for the immediate installation of containment and surveillance measures. The continuing presence of inspectors was also needed during the loading of the reactor in Nyongbyong and during operation of the reprocessing plant.Mr. ElBaradei said he expected that the DPRK Government would allow inspectors to remain in Nyongbyong and to install the necessary containment and surveillance equipment, such as seals and cameras.The IAEA chief also asked Pyongyang to confirm urgently its concurrence with the requirements of the Safeguards Agreement, advising the authorities to inform him immediately should they have a contrary view so that, if necessary, arrangements could be made for the departure of the Agency’s inspectors. read more


Lack of clean water robs children of good health and education –

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said a lack of access to clean water in households causes waterborne illnesses that kill more than 1.6 million children each year. The impact is more tragic for girls, who are often forced to drop out of primary school due to inadequate separate and decent sanitation facilities.“This lack of education early in life often consigns girls to poverty or dependence later in life,” UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said. “By providing clean water and sanitation to the poorest people on the planet, we can reduce poverty and suffering and ensure education for all children.”The Third World Water Forum will bring leaders, technical experts and children together in Japan from 16 to 23 March to seek solutions to water and sanitation issues. During the conference, which coincides with World Water Day on 22 March, UNICEF will work to ensure that children have a voice in solving these problems. It is co-hosting a children’s forum, also in Japan, where approximately 100 youngsters will discuss and present their findings to decision-makers attending the Ministerial Conference.”We all know that fresh water is a scarce resource in many places, often a highly politicized commodity. That’s why it’s crucial that we think of these resources in terms of our children – not only for our own children’s health, but for future generations,” Ms. Bellamy said, urging governments to invest more in clean water and in the protection of scarce water sources.According to UNICEF, millions of children suffer intestinal infections caused by parasites. Each year 19.5 million people are infected with roundworm and whipworm alone, and an estimated 118.9 million children under 15 suffer from schistoomiasis. Parasites consume nutrients, aggravate malnutrition, retard children’s physical development and result in poor school attendance and performance. read more


Caribbean must improve identification of health needs UN regional health agency says

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

Addressing Ministers of Health visiting the UN World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional arm, the 35-member Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington, DC, Mirta Roses said: “Some of the programmes and activities PAHO is working on in the Caribbean would have been unthinkable just five or 10 years ago. Most of this has to do with improvements in transportation and telecommunications infrastructure.”On the other hand, “the Caribbean remains weak in terms of information in a region where services in vital statistics were strong 40 years ago and have now practically disappeared,” she said.Meanwhile, it was imperative that PAHO reinforce the strategy of global technical cooperation with the Caribbean as a whole, as well as with individual Caribbean nations, she said.”We have much more to do, particularly in terms of infrastructure, which is still vulnerable,” she said of a region always at risk of devastation by summer hurricanes.Veta Brown, Barbadian-based Caribbean Program Coordinator at the 100-year-old PAHO, stressed the importance of the integration and coordination of human resources and available financing. “Either because of size or economic capacity, these nations cannot by themselves confront the public health challenges ahead of them,” she said.The ministers making the two-day visit to the world’s oldest international public health organization were John Maginley of Antigua and Barbuda, Ann David Antoine of Grenada and Rupert Emmanuel Herbert of St. Kitts and Nevis. read more


UN Childrens Fund receives less than 20 per cent of appeal for

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

Several Tajik districts have lost infrastructure, including houses, school buildings, roads and bridges, and UNICEF’s appeal covers health and nutrition, water and environmental sanitation, education and child protection. It received $693,793, and Japan built a school for 530 children in northern Penjikent district.UNICEF has allocated funds for reconstruction of water and sanitation facilities in schools in the affected areas and to pay for promoting hygiene. Future action will include establishing sanitation facilities and water supply systems in affected schools in seven districts. Construction of latrines and water supply systems will be supported by the provision of hygiene promotion materials, as well as peer-to-peer training among the children.In the coming months, UNICEF said, it will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to ensure the survival of children in emergencies. Health kits, hygiene kits, supplementary drugs, vaccines, and other humanitarian health supplies will be made available, along with information, education and communication materials. read more


UN Development Fund for Women urges embedding gender equality in aid programmes

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

“Because ‘ownership’ is central to the new aid strategies, it must include women, who are not only citizens but key stakeholders in their country’s development,” Noeleen Heyzer, the executive director of UNIFEM, said.”We need to look at how to improve women’s ‘ownership’ of the new aid instruments, and how to make governments and donors more accountable to achieving gender equality in their implementation of development programmes,” she said.The conference follows three important events in 2005 that have linked commitments to gender equality with development cooperation goals – the 10-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action that came out of the 1995 women’s conference, the adoption of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the 2005 World Summit.Ms. Heyzer said there has been much progress, including the fact that 120 countries have national gender action plans, 180 have signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and 45 have concrete legislation to end violence against women.But she added that progress had been too slow, and blamed a lack of action to carry through on commitments. “The gender action plans are there but they are not being implemented. The challenge therefore is how to make them part and parcel of national ownership strategies, so that women, as owners too, have their voices reflected in national priorities and decision-making.”In the last decade women have made important gains in linking human development with human rights and human security, but it has become obvious that those gains could be lost and advances reversed, she said.”The new development architecture now taking shape represents an historic opportunity to invest in strategies that actually work. We need to recognize this and commit the resources needed to apply them broadly, especially in the world’s poorest countries,” Ms. Heyzer said, adding. “The stakes for women are high.” read more


Schoolchildren officials gather at UN ceremony to pay tribute to Kenyan peacekeepers

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

Among those attending were 400 Kenyan troops due to embark on peacekeeping duties in Southern Sudan. Held at the Department of Defence Headquarters in Nairobi, the event also included the participation of students from 14 Nairobi-area schools to salute these troops by preparing for them Messages of Peace for the holiday season.Just over 2,000 cards and letters were presented by the students to Chief of the General Staff, General Jeremiah Mutinda Kianga, at the ceremony.Eric Falt, the Director of the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Nairobi, which organized the event, underlined Kenya’s importance to UN peacekeeping and promised an even larger contingent of students and messages the following year when the initiative will be extended across the country, affording all Kenyan schoolchildren the opportunity to show their appreciation to Kenyan peacekeepers.Calling this “the first time anyone in Kenya had thanked soldiers for their sacrifices on behalf of peace,” General Kianga thanked both the assembled children and the UN for remembering the troops serving in dangerous missions. read more


Annan mourns death of President Rugova of Kosovo urges continued unity

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today mourned the passing of Kosovo’s President, Ibrahim Rugova, and urged that his legacy of peace be sustained in the period ahead.In a statement released by his spokesman, the Secretary General hailed the late politician for having “demonstrated true leadership and advocated a peaceful solution for Kosovo.” He noted that Mr. Rugova passed away at a crucial moment, with final preparations now underway for talks on Kosovo’s future status. “The Secretary General trusts in the maturity of Kosovo’s institutions and believes that the loss of Kosovo’s President will not disrupt this process,” the spokesman said.The Secretary General also called on the Kosovo political leaders to maintain their unity and continue cooperating with his Special Envoy, Mr. Martti Ahtisaari, and his Special Representative, Mr. Soren Jessen-Petersen.In Kosovo, the senior UN envoy and key leaders issued a joint statement. “Together with the people of Kosovo we are united in our grief and sorrow,” Mr. Jessen-Petersen, Assembly Speaker Nexhat Daci, Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi, PDK leader Hashim Thaci, ORA leader Veton Surroi, and Co-ordinator of Status Working Groups Blerim Shala said.“Together with the people we are united in our determination to see Kosovo continue on its path towards a peaceful and prosperous future,” they pledged.In his own personal statement, Mr. Jessen-Petersen said, “The best tribute we can pay to President Rugova and his legacy is to stay united during the coming months. Indeed, this is the moment for all the people and political leaders of Kosovo to pull together and show the maturity and wisdom that would serve Kosovo well now and in the future.”Martti Ahtisaari, the UN Special Envoy for the future status process for Kosovo, issued his own statement praising the late President for his determination to work for a better future. “I expect the momentum generated by President Rugova to be sustained, and that Kosovo’s political leaders assume the responsibility to remain unified and actively support our common efforts to realize Kosovo’s status,” he said. Mr. Ahtisaari reiterated his commitment to leading the status process “to culminate in a political settlement that determines the future status of Kosovo.”In September, officials announced that Mr. Rugova had lung cancer.Mr. Rugova received a majority of votes during elections in late 2001 but only came to office in February of the following year after Kosovo’s Albanian parties reached an accord which paved the way for him to assume the presidency. During his term in office, he survived a number of assassination attempts, including a grenade attack on his home in March 2004 and an explosive offensive against his convoy one year later.The UN has run Kosovo since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) drove out Yugoslav troops amid grave human rights abuses in fighting between Serbs and Albanians in 1999. read more


UNICEF launches appeal for 805 million for emergency relief

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today appealed to donors for more than $805 million to finance its emergency relief operations in 29 countries in crisis where youngsters are at risk of succumbing to violence, disease and malnutrition.“Many of the disasters which occurred during this past year have highlighted once again the importance of emergency preparedness for rapid response,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman in the foreword to the agency’s annual Humanitarian Action Report.“The immediate availability of basic humanitarian supplies and the ability to dispatch them rapidly to populations in affected areas can save many lives in emergencies.”Of the 29 countries mentioned in the report, Sudan will receive more than $331 million, which at one third of the total is the largest amount of support.Dan Toole, Director of the agency’s Office of Emergency Programmes, said today in Geneva that the Sudan is the best example of where humanitarian aid can be used to ensure long-term stability in a country emerging from conflict. Sudan suffered more than two decades of civil war before a peace agreement was signed last year.“Responding swiftly and effectively to crises is an essential part of meeting long-term development goals,” said Mr. Toole. “In many of these countries, children live in an almost constant state of emergency because they are growing up in extreme poverty, without access to education or the most basic health services.”The report also reminds donors about emergencies which have been largely “forgotten.” Haiti, for example, is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere with 3 million children who are affected by ongoing political instability. Violence, especially in the slums of the capital city Port-Au-Prince, has led to the closure of schools and health facilities. UNICEF needs nearly $6 million to continue and expand humanitarian activities in Haiti.Emergency relief funds will help UNICEF continue its efforts to improve access to education, treat children suffering from malnutrition, establish safe drinking water supplies and sanitation facilities, protect tens of millions of children against measles and malaria and assist in the demobilization and reintegration of child soldiers, among other essential programmes. read more


PF Changs China Bistro agrees to sell itself to private equity firm

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro agrees to sell itself to private equity firm for $1.09B, go private by News Staff Posted May 1, 2012 7:00 pm MDT SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – P.F. Chang’s is being acquired and taken private in a deal valued at $1.09 billionCEO Rick Federico said Tuesday that the deal with Centerbridge Partners LP will give the company greater flexibility in improving its restaurants. The Scottsdale, Ariz., company, which operates its namesake restaurants, Pei Wei Asian Diners, has been struggling to update its brand amid growing competition. Earlier this month, P.F. Chang’s rolled out a new menu to lure more budget-conscious diners.New York’s Centerbridge Partners LP will buy shares of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. for $51.50 each. The cash offer represents a 30 per cent premium over the company’s Monday closing stock price. Shares of P.F. Chang’s soared $11.79 or 30 per cent, to close at $51.48 Tuesday.P.F. Chang’s said Tuesday that its net income fell 41 per cent in the first quarter, as revenue at restaurants open at least a year declined.For the three months ended April 1, the figure slipped 0.6 per cent at the company’s namesake restaurants and 1.7 per cent at Pei Wei restaurants.R.W. Baird analyst David Tarantino said that the company has been pursuing a wide range of turnaround initiatives after a sluggish performance last year. The company has been focusing on reducing portion sizes and improving price points at its Pei Wei restaurants and remodeling stores and enhancing service at its P.F. Chang’s Bistros.Net income for the latest quarter was $6.3 million, or 30 cents per share, down from $10.6 million, or 46 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Excluding one-time gains and losses, net income was 35 cents per share for the recent quarter. Revenue edged up slightly to $318.9 million from $317.4 million.Profit and revenue fell just shy of Wall Street predictions, according to FactSet.Centerbridge will begin a tender offer for P.F. Chang’s shares no later than May 15. In order for the deal to close, about 83 per cent of the shares need to be tendered. P.F. Chang’s said it can also seek out competing bids until May 31.The deal, which has been approved by the company’s board, but remains subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the third quarter.P.F. Chang’s owns and operates 204 of its namesake restaurants and 171 Pei Wei locations in the U.S. The first P.F. Chang restaurant opened in 1993 in Scottsdale. The first Pei Wei restaurant opened in the Phoenix metro area in 2000. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more


Liberals move to freeze wages for Ontario public service executives

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

by News Staff Posted Sep 20, 2012 6:55 pm MDT TORONTO – Ontario’s cash-strapped Liberal government moved Thursday to hold the line on salaries for senior public sector executives as a “symbolic” sign of fairness before it legislates a pay freeze for about 1.3 million workers.“You cannot ask a front-line teacher (or) health-care worker to take a freeze when non-bargained employees effectively aren’t,” said Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.“It’s all about being fair and reasonable.”Duncan promised legislation to permanently cap salaries for public sector executives at hospitals, universities, agencies and the civil service at $418,000 _ twice Premier Dalton McGuinty’s pay.However, it won’t cut incomes for the 150 public sector managers who already make more than that amount _ including hydro executives and hospital CEOs _ and will also allow exemptions for jobs such as Chief Nuclear Officer at Ontario Power Generation.The Liberals will freeze the pay for about 8,800 managers in the Ontario civil service, 98 per cent of whom qualified for a performance bonus in 2010.The government cannot say how many people in the broader public sector will be affected by the legislation, or how much it will save by freezing their pay, but says freezing the pay of civil service managers will save about $12 million a year.“Dollar-wise these are modest,” admitted Duncan. “Symbolically they’re important.”The Progressive Conservatives have been demanding a legislated wage freeze for the broader public sector to help eliminate the $13-billion deficit, and said Duncan “missed the mark completely” with his announcement.“We don’t need symbolism in Ontario today,” complained PC finance critic Peter Shurman.“We need to freeze, we need to fix and we need to reduce, and I see no sign of this.”The Tories supported the minority government’s bill imposing a new deal on public school teachers earlier this month, but couldn’t say Thursday if they would vote in favour of Duncan’s proposed new legislation.The salary cap and eliminating managers’ bonuses were first put forward by the New Democrats, who said their original legislation would have been tougher on senior bureaucrats and public sector executives and would have saved more money.“If they’re going to steal our ideas, I wish they’d steal more than just the headline and actually look at the meat of our proposals,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.“He’s basically entrenching the bonuses that were received. He’s not getting rid of them.”The Canadian Union of Public Employees said the Liberals are sending “the absolute wrong message” by preparing to freeze worker’s wages instead of raising corporate taxes, especially on the big banks.“This is political double speak. This is unfair and unreasonable,” said CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn.“This is all a set up so they can freeze low paid workers at their wages, and at the end of the day that’s not going to help the economy.”The government warned in last spring’s budget that it would legislate a two-year wage freeze for the broader public sector if workers refused to negotiate zero-increase deals.It already passed legislation _ with help from the Tories _ to impose a contract on public school teachers that allows younger teachers to still get raises but freezes salaries for the majority.The teachers’ bill angered public sector unions, who helped the New Democrats take the Kitchener-Waterloo riding from the Tories in a byelection this month, and in the process prevented the Liberals from getting their majority government.So far the Liberals have not moved to legislate a wage freeze for all public sector workers, saying they need to at first try negotiations so the courts do not strike down the bill whenever it is introduced.The government has criticized recent contracts giving salary increases to staff at some universities and to firefighters in Stratford, and said it will not provide additional funding to pay for them.The Liberals say they need the wage freeze to avoid layoffs and service cuts as they move to eliminate the deficit by 2017-18 and avoid an expensive credit downgrade.Duncan said Thursday the government will not open up existing contracts, but had warned earlier that everyone paid for by the Ontario taxpayers can expect a two-year wage freeze in their next contact if they don’t agree to one now. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Liberals move to freeze wages for Ontario public service executives read more


Dollar Shave Club brings viral concept to Canada – but not quite

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Nov 1, 2012 11:50 am MDT TORONTO – Its name doesn’t quite work north of the border, but a mail-order razor company that went viral with a funny ad campaign in the U.S. is coming to Canada.A witty promo video for Dollar Shave Club, which has been viewed more than seven million times, offers consumers a monthly supply of five razor cartridges for $1, including shipping. Shoppers can also upgrade to higher quality blades for $6 or $9 a month.Now the company is going international, starting with Canada.But it’s not quite the same deal.Here, it’s $3.50 a month, including shipping but not taxes, for a monthly delivery of five two-blade cartridges. The higher quality blades are sold for closer to U.S. prices, at $6.50 per month for four four-blade cartridges and $9.50 for three six-blade cartridges.———On the web: Dollar Shave Club’s viral video http://bit.ly/Y7mVsd Dollar Shave Club brings viral concept to Canada – but not quite for $1 read more


Air Canada WestJet filled planes with record load factors in October

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by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 5, 2012 4:50 pm MDT Air Canada and WestJet Airlines both flew their planes with record percentages of the seats full in October as passenger traffic increased with only slight increases in capacity.The country’s largest carrier (TSX:AC.B) said planes in its domestic and international system were 82.9 per cent full in the month, up 3.5 percentage points from 79.4 per cent a year ago.System traffic, including regional airlines, increased 4.9 per cent on a system-wide capacity increase of 0.4 per cent.“This record load factor for the month and strong traffic results overall underscore the effectiveness of our ongoing disciplined approach to managing capacity and our award-winning product that continues to earn customers’ loyalty,” stated CEO Calin Rovinescu.Traffic grew by 7.1 per cent on Atlantic routes, by 6.8 per cent on Pacific routes and by five per cent in Canada where planes were 83.2 per cent filled, up from 80.6 per cent a year earlier.Traffic on routes to Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America decreased 2.2 per cent.WestJet Airlines flights flew 81.2 per cent full in October — the fourth month in a row of record high load factors for the Calgary-based company.Traffic increased 5.9 per cent from last year while capacity grew 0.9 per cent.WestJet said it flew 113,000 more passengers in October than a year ago.“We are very pleased with the October results which easily outpaced the previous October load factor record of 78.1 per cent set in 2007,” stated CEO Gregg Saretsky.The load factor was up from 77.4 per cent in October 2011.“Forward bookings remain healthy and momentum continues at WestJet.”Year-to-date, WestJet’s load factor is up by more than three per cent to 82.9 per cent. Traffic is up 8.2 per cent on a 4.2 per cent increase in available seat miles.Cameron Doerksen of National Bank Financial said WestJet’s traffic numbers are a “clear indication that air travel demand remains very healthy so far in the fourth quarter.”WestJet (TSX:WJA) will report its third-quarter results on Wednesday, followed a day later by Air Canada.“The record October traffic reinforces our positive outlook for WestJet,” Doerksen wrote in a research note.Porter Airlines, which flies turboprop planes on regular scheduled flights in competition with the other airlines, reported that its load factor dropped 8.3 points from last year to 59.4 per cent.The privately owned regional carrier based in Toronto said its traffic or revenue passenger miles grew 5.5 per cent while its capacity shrunk 7.5 per cent.“We are currently focusing on maintaining higher yields, so the change in load factor is expected with this approach,” stated CEO Robert Deluce.He added that hurricane Sandy has affected the airline’s service to key markets, especially Newark, N.J., in November, but noted that Porter has resumed regular service to all airports.Based at Toronto’s Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Porter flies to cities in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada as well as a handful of destinations in the United States.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Air Canada’s shares closed up four cents, or 2.27 per cent, to $1.80 in Monday trading. WestJet’s shares gained nine cents to $17.90. Air Canada, WestJet filled planes with record load factors in October AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more