American, Delta, Alaska Air, along with GOL, TAM and COPA up; stocks perform well as sentiment warms

Of all listed American carriers, only Republic (-1.0%) lost ground, as airlines had a positive day.

North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 05-Nov-09

American Airlines had a good gain as the Dow rose 203 points (2.1%), narrowly taking the index above 10,000 again, on better economic news.  Alaska Airlines too (+4.4%) basked in this week’s report of higher traffic levels and load factor improvement, against a capacity decreases.

After a 21.2% fall the previous day, Expressjet stocks recovered some ground, up 7.5%.

Latin American carriers, GOL and TAM (each +4.4%) both continued their ascent and COPA also rose another 2.7%.

Delta October traffic

Delta reports October traffic Delta stocks rose 2.4% following improved load factor figures on most routes.

Withdrawing 8.3% of system capacity y-o-y, the carrier reported pax traffic down 6.5% for the month of October; this produced a load factor increase of 1.6ppts, to 84.2%.


Domestic operations saw a reduction of only 4.6% (ASMs), with a similar fall in passenger numbers of 4.4%, for a load factor of 83.9%, up 0.2ppts.

International: substantial cutbacks

The largest capacity cutbacks were on international routes, with a 13.6% overall reduction, against a 9.7% fall in RPMs: ASMs were down most significantly in Atlantic and Pacific markets, following ramp-ups last year:

  • Atlantic: -15.8%;
  • Pacific: - 14.6%;
  • Latin America: +1.6% (but regional services were reduced by 27.1%, as “mainline” longer haul grew 2.6%, inflating the ASM count)

Load factors stronger

With the substantial capacity cutbacks, load factors were again strong; the only route group to experience a lower level was the Pacific, where the 16.1% fall in RPMs outweighed the capacity reductions.

Cargo slump slowing

Cargo system ton miles for the month were meanwhile down 4.7%, with freight down 4.3% and mail continuing its slide, down 15.3%.

This showed some improvement however on the annual figures, where the year to date system ton miles were down 25.7%.


Delta is a keen bidder for a minority shareholding in Japan Airlines, as that airline attempts to restructure. Adding JAL to its network relationships would provide considerable additional clout to Delta’s Pacific system. Meanwhile the carrier is hopeful of approval for its joint venture on its new Australian route.