JetBlue Airways' July Traffic Grows on Packed Planes - Analyst Blog

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Leading passenger airline JetBlue Airways Corporation ( JBLU ) has registered steady traffic growth in July 2014. The carrier reported airline traffic - measured in revenue passenger miles or RPMs - of 3.67 million, up 4.3% year over year, representing the sixth consecutive month of traffic growth post a dip in numbers in Jan 2014.

Consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) was also up 3.5% year over year at 4.16 billion. However, the load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers was 88.3%, up 70 basis points.

Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 1% year over year. The company registered a completion factor of 97%, with on-time performance of 65.8%.

In the first seven months of this year, JetBlue has generated RPMs of 21.97 billion (up 3.9% year over year) and ASMs of 25.97 billion (up 4.3%). However, load factor has trickled down to 84.6% from the year-ago figure of 84.9%.

JetBlue recently reported steady second-quarter 2014 results with the top line beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate, while the bottom line was on par with the same. The company's efforts to upgrade its products and services to cater to customers' needs resulted in the year-over-year growth.

The passenger carrier has launched its premium service offering - Mint - on flights operating between New York and Los Angeles at an attractive one way fare of $599 to beef up comfort travel.

We expect this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) carrier to deliver traffic growth in the future owing to slot wins at the Reagan Washington National Airport and expansion in major growth regions across the Americas with New York to Curacao being the recent one.

Further, to augment the flying experience for its customers, JetBlue recently launched an automatic check-in service, which will allow passengers to receive their boarding pass via email 24 hours prior to the slated flight time. Currently restricted to domestic Even More Space seats, the service intends to enhance passenger convenience by cutting down on time to get through the airport and finally board the aircraft.

Other Stocks to Consider

Other well-placed stocks worth considering within this sector include Southwest Airlines Co. ( LUV ), Republic Airways Holdings Inc. ( RJET ) and Spirit Airlines Inc. ( SAVE ). All the stocks currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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