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Hawaiian Airlines Posts 8.7% Increase in September Traffic

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Hawaiian Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (HA - Free Report) , recently posted impressive air traffic statistics for the month of September. Hawaiian Airlines witnessed an 8.7% rise in traffic – measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs) – to 1.29 billion as against 1.18 billion recorded a year ago.

On a year-over-year basis, consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) climbed 5% to 1.51 billion. Moreover, load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers increased to 85% from 82.1% in Sep 2015, as traffic growth outpaced capacity expansion.

For the first nine months of 2016, Hawaiian Airlines registered a 6.8% rise in RPMs to 11.55 billion, while ASMs inched up 3.6% to 13.81 billion, both on a year-over-year basis. Also, load factor increased by 250 basis points year over year to 83.7%. Moreover, passenger count for Sep 2016 and the first nine months of 2016 grew 4.1% and 3.8%, respectively.

The carrier also revised its guidance for the third quarter of 2016. Detailed results will be unveiled on Oct 18. The company now expects cost per ASM (excluding fuel) to climb in the band of 3% to 4% from the year-ago figure of 7.97 cents. The earlier guidance had hinted at an increase in the 2–5% range. Operating Revenue per ASM is now projected to increase in the band of 0.5% to 1.5% from the year-ago figure of 13.55 cents. The earlier guidance was of a decline of 1% to an increase of 2%. Fuel cost per gallon for the third quarter is now projected in the band of $1.48–$1.53 as against the range of $1.50–$1.60 expected earlier. The year-ago figure was $1.95 per gallon. Consequently, earnings for the third quarter of 2016 are expected to be benefited immensely from low fuel costs.

Hawaiian Holdings is not the only carrier to benefit from low fuel costs. Cheap oil is a blessing for the entire airline sector which includes bigwigs like Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) , United Continental Holdings (UAL - Free Report) and American Airlines Group (AAL - Free Report) .

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