Southwest sees PRASM increase and record load factors in Sep-2009

Southwest's shares gained 0.4% yesterday, as the carrier stated it expects passenger revenue per ASM to have increased in the 3% range in Sep-2009 - the first monthly increase since Jan-2009, thanks to big capacity cuts.

Southwest transported 6.8 million revenue passengers (+5.5% year-on-year), with load factors rising an impressive 11.3 ppts (to 74.7%), for the highest September load factor in Southwest’s 38-year history, due to a 7.8% capacity (ASMs) contraction.

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 07-Oct-09

Norwegian reports yield and unit revenue reductions in Sep-2009

Across the Atlantic, Scandinavia's fast-growing LCC, Norwegian, released its Sep-2009 traffic results, and its shares gained 3.0% in response yesterday.

The LCC reported a yield reduction in the month of 4% (related to the removal of fuel surcharges that covered last year’s record high fuel price), with unit revenue down 5%. The carrier carried 24% more passengers in the month (to 1.0 million), while load factor slipped 1.0 ppt to 77%.

easyJet and Ryanair share upgraded by SocGen

Also in Europe, shares in easyJet and Ryanair gained 4.4% and 0.2% yesterday, after SocGen raised its ratings from 'hold' to 'buy' on both carriers. (Comparatively, British Airways was downgraded from ‘hold’ to ‘sell’ and Lufthansa was downgraded from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’).

SpiceJet CEO anticipates improved earning ahead 

In the Asia Pacific region, AirAsia's share gained 2.2%, while SpiceJet's shares jumped 9.7% yesterday, as the Indian carrier’s CEO, Sanjay Agarwal, stated he expects airlines to post improved earnings moving forward, due to increased passenger demand.

Mr Agarwal added that passenger traffic numbers increased by almost 20% in Sep-2009, although yield levels remained low - see Asia Pacific Share Wrap for more information.