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United Continental Records Weak Traffic Figures for April

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United Continental Holdings, Inc .'s UAL wholly owned subsidiary, United Airlines, reported dismal traffic figures for April. Consolidated traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), was 18.47 billion, up 5.1% from the year-ago figure.

On a year-over-year basis, consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) climbed 6.1% to 22.43 billion. However, load factor (percentage of seats occupied by passengers) declined 80 basis points (bps) to 82.3% as capacity expansion outpaced traffic growth. This decrease in the metric indicates inefficient capacity utilization, inducing vacant seats.

At the end of the first four months of 2018, the airline registered a 4.8% rise in RPMs to 68.32 billion while ASMs rose 4.3% to 84.41 billion, both on a year-over-year basis. Thus, load factor expanded 40 bps to 80.9%.

United Continental Holdings, Inc. Price

United Continental Holdings, Inc. Price | United Continental Holdings, Inc. Quote

The company posted an on-time performance of 73% and a completion factor of 99.8% for the month.

The company's continued expansion efforts are encouraging. It recently raised its stake in the Brazilian carrier, Azul S.A. AZUL , to 8% from the previous 3.7%. Through this initiative, the airline aims to offer its customers with more connectivity options between the United States and Brazil. (Read more: United Continental Arm Ups Azul Stake to 8%, Shares Up )

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

United Continental carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the airline space are SkyWest, Inc. SKYW and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. CPCAY . While SkyWest sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Cathay Pacific Airways carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Shares of SkyWest and Cathay Pacific Airways have rallied more than 56% and 14%, respectively, in a year.

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United Continental Holdings, Inc. (UAL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (CPCAY): Free Stock Analysis Report

SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW): Free Stock Analysis Report

AZUL SA (AZUL): Free Stock Analysis Report

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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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