- Passenger traffic (RPMs): -7.7% year-on-year;
- Load factor: 85.5%, +4.6 ppts.
Delta Air Lines reports 8% fall on trans-Atlantic traffic in Sep-2009
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United Airlines stresses that capacity adds are accretive as 2Q2017 unit revenues turn positive
United Airlines expects to attain a positive passenger unit revenue performance in 2Q2017, which would mark the first positive result for the airline in that metric since early 2015. The airline’s PRASM results in 1Q2017 were in line with its initial forecast, which was more conservative than those of its larger US rivals. American and Delta refined their 1Q2017 unit revenue forecast downward, while United kept its guidance intact, and its performance fell within its initial estimates.
The airline’s 2Q2017 positive unit revenue outlook is driven by many factors, including a shift in its management of close in bookings to reduce reliance on advance purchase discounts. Latin America and the US domestic market continue to be bright spots for United, while declines in Pacific unit revenue continue to moderate. United’s better than expected unit revenue performance in trans-Atlantic markets in 1Q2017 should moderate as point of sale tilts more toward Europe later in the year.
Markets seem still to be digesting United’s decision to increase its planned 2017 capacity growth by 1.5ppt. United is stressing that much of the growth is driven by increased gauge, and the growth is designed to restore United to its natural share in the US domestic market.
China's airlines' growing presence in Latin America: China Eastern considers Mexico City
Chinese airlines are turning their focus to Latin America at the direction of their government, which wants a global presence from its airlines. Air China serves São Paulo and Havana (which it considers part of Latin America), and in Apr-2017 China Southern launched Mexico City as a tag from Vancouver. HNA partially owns Brazil's Azul and Portugal's TAP, which HNA can feed into from a forthcoming Beijing-Lisbon flight on the HNA group carrier Beijing Capital Airlines.
China Eastern has relied on codeshare access to Latin America but is now considering placing its own metal in the region. China Eastern is understood to be evaluating a nonstop Shanghai-Mexico City service, with a tag continuing to lower South America. China Eastern could work in partnership with Aeromexico for the service, and to obtain Mexico City slots. Guiding the development is Delta Air Lines, which has stakes in both Aeromexico and China Eastern.