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JetBlue reports double-digit RASM gain; WestJet share boosted by positive Canadian jobs data

US airline stocks gained on Friday, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index rising approximately 1%. It ended a week that recorded an increase of 7%, as US carriers reported double-digit unit revenue growth in Jun-2010, coupled with strong load factors, continued careful capacity management and improved demand.

See related article: Double-digit PRASM performance for United, Southwest, US Airways and Continental; outlook improving

Meanwhile, JetBlue became the last of the majors to report Jun-2010 traffic results on Friday, with the results boosting the LCC’s share price by 4.9%. JetBlue stated passenger revenue per ASM (RASM) increased 19% year-on-year in Jun-2010, with passenger numbers increasing 9.7% year-on-year to 2.1 million in the month. Average load factors increased 3.9 ppts to 84.2%.

In the Canadian market, stocks rose for a fourth day on 09-Jul-2010 after government data revealed that Canada’s job creation was almost five times more than economists expected in Jun-2010, restoring most of the country’s job losses since 2008.

Statistics Canada reported that employment rose by 93,200 in Jun-2010 (following gains of 24,700 in May-2010 and a record 108,700 in Apr-2010), with the jobless rate falling to 7.9%, the lowest since Jan-2009. Meanwhile, Canada’s dollar strengthened against its US counterpart for a fourth day, rising to the highest level this month.

Canada’s employment levels: Jun-2007 to Jun-2010

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 09-Jul-2010