Hawaiian falls despite improved traffic; Air Canada load factor flat; WestJet load factor falls

North and South American airline shares declined on Tuesday (07-Sep-2010), as investors looked to sell airline stock as the carriers move into the autumn low season. Stocks were also down in the wider market, with the Dow ending trading flat on European banking concerns.

The decline in airline stocks was despite a 0.5% slip in oil prices, to USD74.09. The AMEX Airline Index fell 1.8% for the day. 

Hawaiian Airlines falls despite improved traffic

Hawaiian Airlines (-5.6%) suffered the biggest fall of the day despite reporting improved traffic results for Aug-2010. Hawaiian’s load factor rose 2.6 ppts year-on-year for the month, to 88.0%, as traffic (RPMs) rose 14.3%, on the back of a 11.0% increase in capacity (ASMs).  Passenger numbers rose 5.5% for the period, to 787,854.

See related CAPA Profile: Traffic and Capacity

Air Canada load factor flat while WestJet load factor falls

In Canada, Air Canada (+2.2%) and WestJet (+0.2%) were among the few gainers for the day, after also reporting their traffic results.

Air Canada load factor was flat at 86.8% for the month. Latin American and Pacific loads were the most improved, up 2.4 ppts and 1.8 ppts, to 86.8% and 91.1%, respectively. US trans-border, Atlantic and Canadian loads were all down.

Traffic (RPMs) rose 7.1%, to 5,495 million. The improvement was led by an increase in US trans-border traffic, up 13.0%. All other regions were also up for the month, except for Canada, which slipped 0.3%.

Over at WestJet, the LCC reported a 2.3% decline in load factor for Aug-2010, to 82.2%. The decline was the result of excess capacity for the period, with traffic (RPMs) rising 8.2% for the month on a 11.3% increase in capacity (ASMs).

The carrier added that it expects a "positive increase" in revenue per ASK (RASK) in the current quarter.

See related CAPA Profile: Yields

Elsewhere, Republic Airways (-4.5%) and American Airlines (-4.4%) fell, while Latin American carriers LAN Airlines (+1.6%) and TAM (+0.6%) gained.

North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 07-Sep-2010