United Continental Holdings Inc
) airline traffic - measured in revenue passenger miles or RPMs,
which implies revenue generated per mile per passenger - fell
0.8% year over year to 17.94 billion in May 2013. Consolidated
capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) for the month was 21.25
billion, down 1.7% from May 2012.
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The load factor (percentage of seats filled by passengers)
improved to 84.4% from 83.6% in the same month, last year.
Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) is estimated to
have remained flat to down 1.0% year over year. The company
registered a completion factor of 99.4%, with nearly 79.7% of the
flights on schedule.
For the first five months of this year, United Continental
generated RPMs of 81.00 billion (down 1.6% year over year) and
ASMs of 98.83 billion (down 3.8% year over year). Load factor was
82.0%, reflecting a decline of 180 basis points.
Disappointing domestic business along with a drop in activities
in the Atlantic and Pacific regions bruised the performance of
the company during the month, offsetting the busy traffic in
Latin America. Additionally, other risk factors such as fuel
price instability, high non-fuel expenses and sluggish economic
conditions also remain detrimental to United's prospects.
Despite these headwinds, United is making continued progress on
route expansion, fleet restructuring and introduction of new
products and services for customers. The company launched a new
baggage delivery system, installed satellite-based Wi-Fi service
on all long-haul international flights and introduced the Premier
Access program for the convenience of passengers.
United also resumed its international service on
The Boeing Company
) 787 Dreamliner with flights between Denver and Tokyo. This will
not only enhance the company's connectivity with the Asian belt
but will also strengthen its position in the eastern part of the
United Continental - that operates other industry players such as
Southwest Airlines Co.
) - currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).