Growth in passenger traffic
Alaska’s revenue passenger mile (or RPM) increased by 9.4% to 2,475 million in November 2014 from 2,263 million in November 2013. This was driven by an 8.9% rise in revenue passengers. The year-to-date growth in passengers was 6.6%, driving RPM up by 6.3% to 28,011 million from 26,352 million in the previous year. Alaska Airlines’s mainline on-time arrival rate declined from 87.7% to 84.6% during November.
Capacity and capacity utilization
Alaska’s capacity increased by 8.7% year-over-year in November, increasing from 2,769 million to 3,009 million in November 2014. On a year-to-date basis, capacity increased by 6.7% to 32,894 million ASMs. Alaska had the highest year-over-year growth in capacity of 10.9% in October and continues to report the highest growth in November as well. Alaska Airlines was followed by JetBlue’s (JBLU) 6%, Southwest’s (LUV) 4%, Delta’s (DAL) 3.6%, and American Airlines’s (AAL) 0.9%. United (UAL) was the only carrier to report a decline in capacity.
In spite of an increase in capacity due to strong growth in demand, load factor also improved from 81.7% to 82.3% However, the year-to-date load factor decreased by 0.3% to 85.2%. For a complete company overview of Alaska Airlines, read Market Realist’s series, An investor’s guide to Alaska Airlines’s operations.