The majority of US LCC share prices slipped yesterday, in line with broader reductions in the market, with AirTran leading the way, falling 5.3%. Southwest and JetBlue also slipped, down 1.8% and 1.0%, respectively, while Allegiant gained 0.8% on news of yet another strong month and quarter for traffic.
Allegiant's scheduled passenger numbers jumped 32.2% year-on-year in Jun-2009 to just shy of half a million, with load factor slipping 2.5 ppts to a still industry-leading 91.5%. In contrast, Southwest reported a 6.4% year-on-year reduction in revenue passengers, while load factors remained on the lower end of the spectrum, but gained 1.3 ppts to 79.5%.
However, of key concern for Southwest investors was a reduction in passenger revenue per ASM in the range of 9-10%. JetBlue reported a reduction in unit revenues for the month of 12% year-on-year. The carrier also reported a small (0.6%) increase in passenger numbers and a 2.8 ppt load factor reduction to 80.3%, while AirTran reported a 5.4% improvement in passenger numbers, with a 1.1 ppts load factor reduction to 83.6%,.
WestJet shares also gained yesterday, up 2.5%. The carrier stated it anticipates 2Q2009 unit revenue (RASM) to be in line with original expectations of a reduction of 16-18%.
Across the Atlantic, easyJet shares slipped 0.1%, while Ryanair gained 1.5% and Air Berlin shares were up 1.2%, as the carrier reported an impressive increase in unit revenue (RASM) of 14% year-on-year. Passenger numbers were down 4.9%, in part due to a target capacity reduction of 2.7%, while load factor slipped 1.8 ppts.
In the Asia Pacific region, AirAsia's shares gained 3.6%, on news that the carrier is considering selling the entirety of its new share issue (up to 20% of expanded equity) to a single institutional fund or strategic investor. According to CEO, Tony Fernandes, the strategic investor may be a private equity firm or tourism industry business, with the sale to be completed by early Aug-2009.
Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 07-Jul-09