United Airlines, Republic Airways make gains; JetBlue commences codeshare operations with Lufthansa

The AMEX Airline Index (+2.7%) rebounded on Wednesday (11-Nov-2009), as the majority of North and South American carriers’ stocks rose. Stocks were assisted by the wider market, with the Dow ending trading up 0.4%. Oil prices also rose slightly, up 0.3%, to USD79.28.

United (+9.0%) led the way up; Republic stocks gained another 6.5% and US Airways (+5.6%), Southwest (+5.4%) and Continental (+5.1%) all gaining over 5% as market conditions appeared to improve. 

ExpressJet drops, despite improved load factor

ExpressJet (-2.6%) stocks dropped, despite reporting a 3.0 ppts year-on-year increase in load factor for Oct-2009, to 78.7%, for operations as Continental Express. The improved load factor was the result of an 8% increase in traffic (RPMs) and 4% increase in capacity (ASMs). The carrier flew 55,469 block hours and operated 29,830 departures during the month as Continental Express.

Under its “Corporate Aviation” (charter) division, the carrier flew 635 block hours during the month. ExpressJet's fleet within the Corporate Aviation division consisted of eight 41-seat aircraft and 22 50-seat aircraft.

JetBlue launches operations of Lufthansa codeshare; relaunches frequent flyer programme

JetBlue Airways (+3.7%) launched operations of its codeshare agreement with Lufthansa, linking their two networks via Boston and New York. Eligible US destinations under the agreement currently include Austin, Buffalo, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Rochester, San Juan, Syracuse, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. JetBlue and Lufthansa intend to further expand their codeshare in 2010 by adding more JetBlue destinations to the agreement.

The carrier also during trading unveiled a revamped TrueBlue, its customer loyalty programme. The programme now has no blackout dates, meaning members can book any seat on any flight. The programme’s points are earned based on dollars spent with JetBlue or charged on a member's JetBlue Card from American Express.

In related news, Canadian LCC, WestJet (-0.6%) plans to unveil its new frequent flyer programme at the end of the month, which is set to include a "travel bank", in which consumers can save points.

Republic Airways to develop hub in Milwaukee

Republic Airways (+6.5%) rose following news the day prior that it plans to establish a hub in Milwaukee County. The carrier stands to make USD27 million in Wisconsin tax credits from the new hub if it meets job and investment goals.

North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 11-Nov-09