United Continental’s capacity
In August 2017, United Continental’s (UAL) capacity grew 2.4% YoY (year-over-year), slower than the average 3.6% YoY capacity growth seen in the previous seven months. Year-to-date (or YTD), its capacity had grown 3.5%, which is almost double the growth seen in 2016. In fiscal 2016, United’s capacity grew 1.4% YoY.
Pacific region sees growth
United’s international capacity fell 0.5% YoY in August 2017 due to declining capacity in Latin American and Atlantic markets. Latin American capacity fell 2.5% YoY in August 2017, and the Atlantic region’s fell 0.5% YoY. The Pacific region’s capacity rose 0.8%. YTD, international capacity had grown 1.8% YoY in August.
In March 2017, United Continental increased its capacity growth guidance for the year to 2.5%–3.5%. It had earlier planned to grow its capacity by 0%–1%. The change was mainly due to Alaska Air’s aggressive capacity growth in San Francisco, United’s biggest market.
Investors can gain exposure to United Continental with the First Trust NASDAQ Transportation ETF (FTXR), which has a 6.5% exposure to United. In the next part, we’ll find out if United has been able to fill its extra seats.