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United Continental traffic eases 1% in February

United Continental passenger numbers dropped 3.4% in February, although revenue passenger numbers (RPMs) eased just 1.1%, thanks to stronger traffic in North America and to the Asia Pacific. Shares in the carrier were up 4.7% on Monday on a mixed day for North American airline shares. Air Canada B Shares were down 6.7%, while WestJet shares fell 3%. Most Latin American carriers also traded lower.

United Continental Holdings reports (07-Mar-2011) the following traffic highlights in Feb-2011:

  • Passenger numbers: 9.7 million, -3.4% year-on-year;
  • Passenger traffic (RPMs): -1.1%;
  • Passenger load factor: 76%, -2.3 ppts;
    • North America: 80.2%, -0.5 ppt;
    • International: 72.8%, -3.9 ppts;
    • Atlantic: 66.4%, -5.8 ppts;
    • Pacific: 79.7%, -0.4 ppt;
    • Latin America: 74.8%, -5.2 ppts.

In contrast, most other US carriers reported better traffic in Feb-2011.

Southwest Airlines reports (07-Mar-2011) the following traffic highlights in Feb-2011:

  • Revenue passenger numbers: 6.3 million, +7.1% year-on-year;
  • Enplaned passengers: 7.6 million, +9.2%;
  • Passenger load factor: 76.9%, +3.0 ppts;
  • Number of flights: 82,477, +4.8%. 

Hawaiian Airlines reports (07-Mar-2011) the following traffic highlights in Feb-2011:

  • Passenger numbers: 665,553, +6.2% year-on-year;
  • Passenger load factor: 85%, +2.7 ppts. 

Republic Airlines reports (07-Mar-2011) the following traffic highlights in Feb-2011:

  • Passenger numbers: 2.1 million, +1.0% year-on-year;
  • Passenger load factor: 73%, +1.0 ppts.

Allegiant released (07-Mar-2011) the following guidance:

  • 1Q2011:
    • Passenger revenue per ASM: +9% to +11%;
    • Capacity (ASMs): +2% to +4%;
      • Scheduled: +2% to +4%;
  • 2Q2011:
    • Capacity (ASMs): -2% to +2%;
      • Scheduled: -4% to stable;
  • Scheduled capacity (ASM):
    • FY2011: +1% to +3% with 51 operating aircraft through the year and 166 seat aircraft to commence operations from 2HFY2011;
    • FY2012: +18% to +20% with 166 seat upgrade completed in 4Q2012, four additional MD80s which are currently in storage to commence operations in 4Q2012;
    • FY2013: +17% to +19% with remaining four MD80s, also currently in storage, to enter service;
    • FY2014: +5% to +7%.

American Airlines announced plans to launch a private offering of USD1 billion in senior secured notes. The notes are to be secured by route authorities, landing and take-off slots and airport rights. The carrier is reportedly selling the notes as the cost to protect the debt of its parent company, AMR Corp, increases amid rising fuel costs.

Selected AAD daily share price movements (% change): 07-Mar-2011