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JetBlue’s PRASM recovery on a better trajectory than Southwest?

JetBlue estimates its revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) to have fallen by 6% year-on-year in Aug-2009 – a welcome improvement from the 12% slump in Mar-2009. Southwest Airlines meanwhile estimates its PRASM was down 5-6% in Aug-2009, for the second month in a row.

Southwest Airlines vs JetBlue RASM growth (% change year-on-year): Jan-09 to Aug-09

But neither outcome is particularly impressive, given it was the Summer peak period and the massive amount of capacity being withdrawn from the US domestic market (the graph below was for Jul-2009).

North American carriers’ domestic passenger capacity growth (% change year-on-year): Jul-2009