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JetBlue Airways (JBLU - Analyst Report) witnessed improved traffic across its network for the month of Jun 2013. The carrier reported airline traffic – measured in revenue passenger miles or RPMs, of 3.13 billion, up 7.8% year over year. Consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) was also up 8.0% year over year at 3.65 billion.

The load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers was 85.7%, down 20 basis points. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) remained flat year over year. The company registered a completion factor of 99.3%, with on-time performance of 69.6%.

For the first half of 2013, JetBlue Airways generated RPMs of 17.62 (up 7.4% year over year) and ASMs of 20.88 billion (up 7.1% year over year), on a consolidated basis. Load factor was 84.4%, reflecting an improvement of 30 basis points from the corresponding prior-year month.

We believe that JetBlue Airways with the support of a strong brand name and diverse products and services offering will be able to sustain its traffic growth in the coming days. The company stands to benefit from a growing travel demand, network expansion, fleet re-designing and cost-saving moves. Lucrative strategic partnerships are also expected to play an important role in developing the company’s business model.  

The low-cost passenger carrier is expected to report its second quarter 2013 financial results on Jul 24, 2013. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings currently stands at 14 cents per share for the quarter. The estimate reflects a year-over-year decline of 10.7%.

JetBlue Airways – which recently agreed to hand over fourth-generation 16 GB Wi-Fi compatible Apple Inc. (AAPL - Analyst Report) iPads to pilots for use in air – carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other Stocks

Companies operating within this segment that are worth taking note of are Spirit Airlines Inc. (SAVE - Snapshot Report) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL - Analyst Report) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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