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JetBlue Airways (JBLU - Analyst Report) reported single-digit traffic growth for Feb 2013 on the back of higher capacity. The company’s airline traffic – measured in revenue passenger miles or RPMs, which implies revenue generated per mile per passenger – increased 2.6% year over year to 2.51 billion for the month. Consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) was 3.04 billion, up 1.3% from Feb 2012.
The load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers was 82.4%, up 100 basis points. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM), however, dropped 3% year over year. The company registered a completion factor of 96.1%, with on-time performance of 68.8%.
For the first two months of 2013, on a consolidated basis, JetBlue Airways generated RPMs of 5.30 billion (up 6.9% year over year) and ASMs of 6.46 billion (up 5.7% year over year), while load factor was 82.0%, reflecting an improvement of 90 basis points.
In an attempt to expand its services, JetBlue Airways is consistently introducing new flights. From Nov 20, the company will have two non-stop flights every day from Chicago's O'Hare to San Juan. Leveraging the reputation of being the largest carrier in Puerto Rico, the airline flies to 14 non-stop destinations within U.S. and Caribbean from the capital.
JetBlue Airways also remains committed toward re-vamping the city’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and extend all necessary inputs for the growth and development of the island.
Going forward, JetBlue Airways aims to start services in Albuquerque, N.M.; Philadelphia; Penn and Medellin, Colombia. We believe adding on new routes enhances the company’s business model and strengthens its network against other group members such as Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL - Analyst Report) and Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV - Analyst Report).
JetBlue Airways currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other Stocks to Consider
A stock operating within the airline sector that is worth considering is Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYAAY - Snapshot Report) – that holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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