Airline Finance News - North America.


Oct 9, 2006

The Air Transport Association, the trade group representing major US airlines, said stormy weather in August also affected flight operations, including bag handling. However, the industry's on-time arrival rate -- which is influenced mainly by bad weather was higher after the security measures were imposed than before, government figures showed. Megan McCarthy, a spokeswoman for United, said a sharp increase in checked luggage was seen across its network in August but United did not hire new workers in response. She said the airline shifted schedules and changed bag processing routines. Oct 5, 2006

Airline lower load factors could impinge on airlines' abilities to raise prices. Earlier this year, tight controls on capacity increases helped airlines raise fares to offset rising fuel costs. Fuel prices have since retreated, which should boost profitability at most carriers. Experts are generally upbeat on the earnings prospects for airlines in the third quarter. Calyon Securities analyst Ray Neidl said in a research note on Wednesday said he has lowered his estimates somewhat but expects the industry to earn USD$1.5 billion in the third quarter. Neidl predicted industry earnings of USD$1.3 billion for 2006. Oct 4, 2006

US Airlines Saw Mostly Higher September Traffic. Some US airlines posted increases in year-on-year traffic in September, as a dip in air travel demand from tighter security measures implemented in August appeared short-lived. Of the major carriers that so far this week have reported their September traffic, United Airlines, Continental Airlines, and low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines saw increases. Data show, however, that planes were a little less crowded in September 2006 than they were the year before. The increases in traffic are a clue that third-quarter airline earnings will be strong, said airline consultant Michael Boyd. The airline industry saw the early signs of rebound this year after suffering from overcapacity, low-fare competition and high fuel prices. Oct 4, 2006

IATA reported that North American carriers saw international RPKs rise 5.8% against a 5.9% boost in capacity, but still led all regions with a load factor of 82.7%. Oct 2, 2006

ACE Aviation

ACE Aviation Chief Executive Robert Milton said last summer the company intends to distribute up to CAD$2 billion of capital to shareholders over time in a process that will result in the spinoff of Canada's biggest airline. A Quebec court approved the shareholder vote in late August. It also intends to complete the distribution of units in Aeroplan Income Fund, which has a stake in the airline's frequent flier program. The ACPA, representing 3,100 pilots that operate the airline's mainline fleet, said the move would leave Air Canada financially vulnerable during the industry's next downturn. The operating units of the former Air Canada, which also include the Jazz Air regional carrier, were transferred to ACE in the restructuring for too small a consideration and now executives are proposing to remove...

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