JetBlue Airways Corporation
) reported better traffic across its network for the month of Aug
2013. The carrier reported airline traffic - measured in revenue
passenger miles or RPMs - of 3.48 billion, up 6.2% year over
year. Consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) was
also up 7.2% year over year at 4.02 billion.
The load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers
was 86.8%, down 80 basis points. Passenger revenue per available
seat mile (PRASM) increased 3% year over year. The company
registered a completion factor of 99.9%, with on-time performance
For the first eight months of 2013, JetBlue Airways generated
RPMs of 24.63 (up 7.2% year over year) and ASMs of 28.91 billion
(up 7.1% year over year), on a consolidated basis. Load factor
was 85.2%, reflecting an improvement of 20 basis points from the
corresponding prior-year month.
We expect JetBlue to sustain traffic growth in the coming days
based on increasing travel demand, network expansion, fleet
re-designing and cost-saving measures. The company's growing
presence in several key markets and penetration into untapped
areas will support its growth momentum. JetBlue also signed an
interline agreement with British Airways, which will give its
customers more options by providing access to the extensive
network of the latter.
However, rising fuel prices, competitive pressure and high
aircraft maintenance expenses remains the near-term concerns for
the company. Recently, the company delivered weak second-quarter
2013 results with earnings and revenues failing to beat the
respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Delta Airlines Inc.
) is another major U.S. airline that reported improved operating
performance for Aug 2013, whereas both
United Continental Holdings Inc.
Southwest Airlines Co.
) displayed softer traffic.
JetBlue Airways carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
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