SkyWest Inc. (SKYW - Snapshot Report) revealed a 5.3% (8,647) year-over-year decline in block hours (a measure of aircraft utilization) to 154,095 in Sep 2016.
The St. George, UT-based carrier, which remains focused on streamlining its operations, mentioned that the fall in the metric was in sync with its fleet transition plans. The carrier aims to reduce the 50-seat jets in its fleet and add new E175 aircraft. SkyWest‘s dual class aircraft accounted for approximately 42% of the carrier’s total block hour production for the month. The comparable figure was approximately 39% a year ago.
The carrier, which provides scheduled passenger and air freight services with over 3,000 departures per day to the U.S., Canada and Mexico as well as the Caribbean, reported a 6.4% decrease in block hours for the first nine months of the year.
Apart from the block hour reduction in keeping with its fleet optimization plans, SkyWest recorded a 5.1% decline in consolidated capacity (measured in available seat miles) for the month of September to 2.72 billion. Airline traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles, decreased 4.2% year over year to 2.25 billion on a consolidated basis. Load factor (percentage of seats filled with passengers) increased 80 basis points (bps) at 82.8% in the month, on a consolidated basis. The number of departures in September was down 5% on a year-over-year basis.
SkyWest is not the only carrier to have disclosed its September traffic numbers thus far. We have seen carriers like Delta Air Lines (DAL - Analyst Report) , Alaska Air Group (ALK - Analyst Report) and Allegiant Travel Company (ALGT - Snapshot Report) recently unveiling their respective September traffic numbers.
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