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Alaska Air Group passenger revenue increased 9 percent year over year
to $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter. That includes Virgin America revenue
for the second half of December, as Alaska acquired Virgin America on Dec.
14. Traffic rose 13.1 percent year over year, and capacity increased 10. 3 percent,
improving load factor 2 percentage points to 84.5 percent. Yield declined 3. 3
percent year over year during the quarter. For the full year 2016, Alaska report-
ed a net income of $814 million, down 4 percent from 2015.
WestJet’s revenue from managed corporate business travel increased
15 percent year over year in the fourth quarter. Part of the uptick came
from “a couple of nice months” from the energy sector, WestJet EVP of
commercial Bob Cummings said. Premium economy seating revenue rose
30 percent year over year, an indicator of growing corporate business, president and CEO Gregg Saretsky said. Total revenue increased 6.2 percent to
C$1 billion. Traffic increased 13. 7 percent, and capacity increased 11. 2 percent.
The carrier’s load factor increased 1.8 percentage points to 80.2 percent. Yield
declined 6.7 percent. For the full year 2016, WestJet reported net earnings of
C$295.5 million (US$219.4 million), down 19.6 percent compared with 2015.
Both demand and pricing picked up for United Airlines last year,
and that continued in the first weeks of this year. Passenger revenue
increased 0.4 percent year over year to $7.8 billion during the fourth quarter,
and yield declined 0.3 percent. Traffic rose 1.6 percent, and capacity increased
2 percent. Load factor declined 0.3 percentage points to 82.4 percent. United
reported a net income of $397 million for the quarter, down from $823 million
in the fourth quarter of 2015. Net income for the full-year 2016 was $2.3 billion,
down from $7.3 billion in 2015. The decline stemmed largely from a tax-related
benefit in 2015.
American Airlines plans to beef
up its corporate sales force this
year to gain market share, executives said during the carrier’s
fourth-quarter earnings call.
Operating revenue increased 1.7 percent year over year during the fourth
quarter to $9.8 billion. Traffic declined
1.3 percent as American increased capacity 0.4 percent, causing load factor
to drop 1.3 percentage points to 81.4
percent. Yield increased 1.8 percent,
and unit revenue was up. American
reported a net income of $2.7 billion
for the full year 2016, compared with
a net income of $7.6 billion in 2015.
The 2015 profit included a $3 billion
income tax benefit.
JetBlue’s passenger revenue
increased 2. 7 percent year over
year to $1.5 billion in the fourth
quarter. Traffic increased 6 percent
as JetBlue increased capacity 4. 5
percent, pushing load factor up 1.1
percentage points to 84.7 percent.
The average fare declined 4 percent
to $154.94. JetBlue reported a net
income of $759 million for the full
year 2016, up 12 percent compared
Southwest Airlines reported strong
business travel demand in the
fourth quarter as it topped quar-
terly records in both passenger
revenue and load factor. Southwest’s
passenger revenue totaled $4.6 billion
in the quarter, and total operating
revenue rose 5 percent year over
year. The carrier boosted capacity
5 percent year over year, and traffic
increased 5. 5 percent, pushing load
factor up 0.3 percentage points to 84.4
percent. The average fare declined 3. 7
percent year over year to $144.43, and
unit revenue also declined.” Southwest
reported a net income of $2.2 billion
for the full year 2016, up 2. 9 percent
compared with 2015.
Delta expects to increase fares this year amid growing corpo-
rate demand and controlled capacity, executives said during
the carrier’s fourth-quarter earnings call. Delta increased capac-
ity 0.9 percent during the quarter as traffic increased 0.8 percent.
Load factor declined 0.1 percentage points to 85.1 percent. Delta’s
fourth-quarter net income declined 37 percent year over year to
$622 million. On Dec. 1, the airline and its pilots ratified an agreement
retroactive to the beginning of the year, and the $475 million ex-
pense hit the books during the fourth quarter. Full-year net income
dropped 3 percent year over year to $4.4 billion.