Low-cost airline operator Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV: Quote) on Friday reported operational results for the month of August, reporting that traffic edged up and load factor rose from last year, while capacity declined.
The results included those of AirTran Airways, which became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest in May 2011 following a $1 billion acquisition.
For August 2012, Southwest estimates passenger revenue per ASM, or PRASM, to have increased in the two to three percent range as compared to August 2011.
Dallas, Texas-based Southwest said combined traffic for the month, measured in revenue passenger miles or RPMs, edged up 0.1 percent to 9.356 billion from 9.346 billion in the same month last year.
However, combined capacity, measured in available seat miles or ASMs, declined 1.8 percent to 11.12 billion from last year's 11.32 billion. Combined load factor for the month rose 1.6 percentage points to 84.2 percent from the year-ago period's 82.6 percent.
Revenue passengers carried in the month totaled 9.74 million, up 2 percent from 9.54 million in the year-ago month.
The number of passengers enplaned during the month rose 1 percent to 12.02 million from last year's 11.91 million. However, the number of trips flown declined 4 percent from a year ago to 117,129.
For the year-to-date eight month period, combined traffic edged down 0.7 percent to 70.29 billion RPMs from 70.75 billion RPMs in the same period last year. Combined capacity declined 0.2 percent to 86.86 billion from 87.04 billion in the year-ago period.
Combined load factor for the period was down 0.4 percentage points to 80.9 percent from the year-ago period's 81.3 percent.
In Friday's regular trading session, LUV is trading at $9.15, down $0.07 or 0.71 percent on a volume of 1.75 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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