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JetBlue's (JBLU) Traffic Rises, Load Factor Falls in October

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JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU - Free Report) reported disappointing traffic figures for October. Even though traffic and capacity increased in the month, load factor (percentage of seats filled by passengers) contracted as traffic growth was outpaced by capacity expansion.

Traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), increased 6.2% year over year to 4.31 billion. Also, consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) expanded 6.7% to 5.22 billion on a year-over-year basis. However, load factor decreased 40 basis points (bps) to 82.5% in the month.

This Long Island City, NY-based low-cost carrier registered a completion factor (system wide) of 99.6% in the month with 80.7% flights on schedule.


In the first 10 months of 2019, the carrier posted a 5.7% rise in RPMs while ASMs grew 6.8%, both on a year-over-year basis. As a result, load factor deteriorated 80 bps to 84.5%.

The carrier reiterates its fourth-quarter revenue per available seat mile (RASM) view. It anticipates the metric to decline between 0.5% and 3.5% year over year. Moreover, capacity is estimated to increase 4.5-6.5% in the ongoing quarter. Consolidated operating cost per available seat mile excluding fuel is expected to either decline 1% or increase up to 1% in the same quarter.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

JetBlue carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the same space are Controladora Vuela Compania de Aviacion, S.A.B. de C.V. (VLRS - Free Report) , Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (HA - Free Report) and United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL - Free Report) . While Controladora Vuela sports a Zacks Rank#1 (Strong Buy), Hawaiian Holdings and United Airlines carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of Controladora Vuela, Hawaiian Holdings and United Airlines have rallied more than 100%, 12% and 10%, respectively, so far this year.

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