Hawaiian Airlines gains despite disappointing traffic results; US Airways in an Uptrend; Copa rises


North and South American carriers rose with the wider market on Friday (05-Mar-2010), with the Dow (+1.2%) rising on news US job losses were smaller than expected in Feb-2010, withthe unemployment rate remaining at 9.7%. Furthermore, job losses totalled 36,000 for the month, much lower than the 67,000 expected by analysts.

The AMEX Airline Index (+0.8%) was up as a result, despite a gain in oil prices (+0.4%), to USD81.18.

Hawaiian gains despite disappointing traffic results

Hawaiian Airlines (+0.8%) gained slightly despite reporting a 0.7 ppt year-on-year slip in load factor for Feb-2010, to 82.3%, as the 5.0% decline in traffic outweighed the 4.1% reduction in capacity. Passenger numbers were also down for the month, falling 2.3%, to 626,590.

The airline additionally faces increasing competition from Allegiant, which is acquiring B757 equipment for the purposes of serving Hawaii from late 2010.

Southwest reports RASM growth

Southwest (+0.6%) was also up marginally, after estimating RASM for Feb-2010 rose 16-17%. However, the rise in share price was weakened by news passenger revenue for the month declined by approximately USD15 million as a result of weather-related cancellations and delays. According to MarketWatch, analysts expect the Feb-2010 storms to have affected US carriers’ revenues by over USD100 million.

In other LCC news, JetBlue (-0.2%) slipped after Fitch Ratings affirmed the Issuer Default Rating (IDR) for JetBlue Airways at 'B-' and the senior unsecured rating, which applies to approximately USD470 million of convertible notes, at 'CC' with a Recovery Rating of 'RR6'. The airline's rating outlook has been revised from 'Negative' to 'Stable'.

See related article: Southwest reports double-digit RASM growth; Fitch raises JetBlue’s outlook: LCC share wrap

Copa to increase capacity; LAN increases capacity of operations to Santiago

Copa Airlines (+1.7%) stated during trading that it plans to increase capacity by approximately 10% this year, a sign demand for the carrier is on the mend. During the year, Copa plans to take delivery of eight new B737-800s.

LAN (+1.6%) announced during trading it has increased the capacity of its domestic and international flight operations to and from Chile's Santiago International Airport to 54% of normal flight operations. The carrier now expects to return to normal Santiago operations in two weeks.

TAM (-2.9%) meanwhile made the biggest fall of the day.

For the lasted on what’s happening in the North and South American airline industry, why not subscribe to America Airline Daily? Other stories featured in today’s issue include:

North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change):  05-Mar-2010

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