JetBlue slumps on downgraded outlook; United Continental PRASM up; US Airways, WestJet gain

JetBlue (-4.0%) slumped in a day of declines for North and South American airline shares on Wednesday (08-Dec-2010). JetBlue fell after the LCC downgraded its unit revenue, measured in revenue per ASM, outlook for 4Q2010 from +10% to +13% to +8% to +10% while passenger revenue per ASM was also downgraded from its previous guidance of +12%-15% to +10%-12% in 4Q2010.

The LCC attributed the revised outlook on weaker close-in bookings than expected during the peak travel periods. Meanwhile, JetBlue expects to be the largest operator at Boston Logan Airport with plans to double its daily departures from 40 in 1Q2007to 80 in 1Q2011 and the destinations served from 19 to 39 as well as the number of gates at the airport from six to 12.

See related CAPA Profile: Outlook, Forecasts, Guidance

United Continental PRASM up 11-12%

United Continental Holdings (-1.4%) fell despite reporting an estimated 11-12% year-on-year rise in consolidated PRASM for Nov-2010, while mainline PRASM was estimated to be up 12-13% for the month.

The combined carrier also reported a 0.5 ppt improvement in load factor for Nov-2010 to 80.9%. Passenger numbers for the month rise 3.7% to 11.5 million.

Hawaiian Airlines load factor up marginally

Hawaiian Airlines (-1.4%) was also down for the session, despite reporting a 0.8 ppt year-on-year improvement in load factor for Nov-2010 to 85.2%. The rise was the result of a 11.5% improvement in traffic (RPMs) on a 10.5% increase in capacity (ASMs). Passenger numbers also rose for the month, gaining 1.8%, to 676,823.

See related CAPA Profile: Traffic and Capacity

US Airways, WestJet gain

Elsewhere, US Airways (+4.0%) shares made the greatest gain for the day, after Standard & Poor's raised its outlook for the carrier to stable, citing improved traffic data and financial results.

WestJet (+1.1%) was also up for the session, after confirming it has signed an interline agreement with British Airways, allowing BA passengers to connect with WestJet’s network. Tickets for the new services will go on sale in 2011.

North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 08-Dec-2010