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US LCC stocks slip; Frontier climbing at Milwaukee; Bestfares.com warns of weak autumn 2010 demand

Analysis

US LCC stocks slipped on Tuesday, as the broader market declined for a second day after US home sales for May-2010 dropped.

Summary
  • US LCC stocks declined as the broader market dropped due to a decrease in home sales for May 2010.
  • JetBlue, AirTran, Southwest, and Allegiant all experienced a decline in their stock prices.
  • Bestfares.com warned of weak autumn demand, with Southwest Airlines offering discounted fares earlier than the previous year.
  • Midwest Airlines, now rebranded as Frontier, saw an increase in market share in April in its home market of Milwaukee.
  • General Mitchell International Airport reported a clerical error that inflated AirTran's market share since the beginning of the year.
  • Southwest Airlines had a lower market share compared to AirTran and Midwest/Frontier in Milwaukee.

Shares in JetBlue declined 4.0% yesterday, while AirTran, Southwest and Allegiant all slipped, by 3.2%, 2.7%, and 1.5% respectively.

Meanwhile, Bestfares.com warned of weak autumn-2010 demand, stating Southwest Airlines' three-day sale, which offers fares from USD39 per sector between 08-Sep-2010 and 17-Nov-2010, came approximately two weeks earlier than its corresponding autumn sale in 2009. Bestfares.com CEO, Tom Parsons, stated airlines are "having trouble filling up seats this fall", with American Airlines and United Airlines already matching the sale prices.

Frontier climbing at Milwaukee

Midwest Airlines, over the past few years, has seen a decline in its home market of Milwaukee. But now that it is rebranding to Frontier, it is recovering, increasing market share in April by 3 ppts, according to figures released by General Mitchell International Airport. Interestingly, it also reported a clerical error that double-counted some passengers and slightly inflated AirTran's market share since the beginning of the year.

For April, AirTran's share stood at 28.8% compared with Midwest/Frontier's 35.3% share. The airport erroneously reported AirTran had broken the 30% mark earlier this year. In March, AirTran market share was well short of the 30% mark at 20.3%.

Southwest, with only eight flights in the market, and with dismal ticket counter facilities, trailed the two rivals at 8.5% of market share.

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 22-Jun-2010

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