August 30, 2005 19:07 ET

WestJet Shareholders Approve Amended Capital Structure, Two Classes of Common Shares Created

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 30, 2005) - WestJet Airlines Ltd. (TSX:WJA) ("WestJet") today announced that on August 30, 2005 a majority of its shareholders voted in favour of the creation of two new classes of shares to replace its common shares in order to address non-Canadian ownership limits.

Under Canadian law, non-Canadian ownership (as defined by the Canada Transportation Act) of airline voting shares is limited to 25% of outstanding shares. The amended capital structure will ensure WestJet's continued compliance with the 25% maximum on the number of voting rights attached to shares held by non-Canadians.

New Capital Structure

WestJet's amended capital structure will permit WestJet to issue an unlimited number of Variable Voting Shares. Every issued and outstanding common share under the ownership or control of a non-Canadian (as defined by the Canada Transportation Act) will be converted into one Variable Voting Share. After this conversion, shares purchased by non-Canadians will be converted automatically into Variable Voting Shares as required.

The new structure will result in the conversion of each issued and outstanding common share under the ownership and control of a Canadian (as defined by the Canada Transportation Act) into one Common Voting Share. After this conversion, shares purchased by Canadians will automatically be converted into Voting Shares.

Variable Voting Shares, held by non-Canadians, carry one vote per share unless non-Canadians hold in excess of 25% of all outstanding voting shares or if non-Canadian holders of voting shares hold in excess of 25% of the aggregate voting rights of those eligible to vote at a shareholders' meeting. In these circumstances, the voting rights of non-Canadian shareholders will be reduced pro-rata such that voting rights of non-Canadians will be limited to 25% of the rights attaching to all voting shares. Voting Shares held by Canadians will continue to carry one vote per share. All other privileges attributed to these shares remain unchanged.

WestJet expects that the new classes of shares will be substituted for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange at the opening of trading on or about September 2, 2005.

About WestJet

WestJet is Canada's leading low-cost airline offering scheduled service throughout its 34-city North American network. Named Canada's most respected corporation for customer service in 2005, WestJet pioneered low-cost high-value flying in Canada. With increased legroom and leather seats on its modern fleet of Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, and live seatback television on its 737-700 fleet, WestJet strives to be the number one choice for travellers.

Contact Information

  • WestJet
    Media Relations:
    Gillian Bentley
    (403) 444-2615
    Website: www.westjet.com