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Alaska Air Group's (ALK) Traffic & Load Factor Up in July

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Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK - Free Report) reported traffic statistics for July. Traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), inched up 2.8% to 5.38 billion on the back of rising air travel demand.

Also, on a year-over-year basis, consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) rose 2.5% to 6.12 billion. With traffic growth outpacing capacity expansion, load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers improved 30 basis points (bps) to 88%.

In the first seven months of 2019, the carrier generated RPMs of 32.47 billion (up 1.1% year over year) and ASMs of 38.61 billion (up 0.8% year over year). Also, load factor inched up 20 bps to 84.1%.

With solid traffic growth, the carrier has been generating higher passenger revenues. Notably, passenger revenues rose 6% in the second quarter of 2019 while traffic inched up 1.1%. This impressive ascent in passenger revenues (accounting for the maximum share of the top line) helped the company deliver better-than-expected earnings and revenues.

While adjusted earnings of $2.17 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.11, revenues of $2,288 million came above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,282 million. (Read more: Alaska Air Q2 Earnings Surpass, Q3 RASM View Upbeat)

Other key airline players, namely United Airlines (UAL - Free Report) , Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) and Spirit Airlines (SAVE - Free Report) also delivered better-than-expected earnings and revenues for second-quarter 2019.

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