Updated from 11:12 a.m.
Several airlines announced record results in June, driven by increasing travel demand during the summer months.
announced that it filled a record 82.4% of its seats during the month of June, up from 81% last year, driven by strong international performance where low-cost competition is nonexistent. The company said that traffic, a demand metric measured in revenue passenger miles, rose 12.2% year over year, while capacity, a supply metric measured in available seat miles, rose 10.2%.
With demand slightly outpacing the rise in capacity, Continental was able to fill more seats than a year ago and show marginal improvement to revenue per available seat mile, a key industry metric called RASM. In June, Continental's RASM rose between 0.5% and 1.5% year over year, an improvement from May's RASM decline of 3%.
Continental said the revenue trends were stronger than it previously anticipated and said its quarterly results, excluding all charges, would come in near break-even. Currently, Wall Street expects the airline to lose 33 cents a share when it releases results on July 20. In reaction, shares of Continental rose 23 cents, or 2.1%, to $64.47 on Friday.
saw traveler demand for its inexpensive flights increase in June, with the airline filling 78.8% of its seats during the month vs. 74.6% a year ago. Southwest said traffic increased 11.9% year over year against a capacity increase of just 4.5%. Shares fell 40 cents, or 2.4%, to $16.09.
also saw traffic increase 9.5% during June, coming with more than 2 billion revenue passenger miles, a company record for the month. But capacity increased by 11.1%, which meant that the airline filled 80.5% of its seats, down from 81.7% a year ago. In reaction, shares of the carrier rose 4 cents, or 0.5%, to $8.94.
With supply outpacing demand, the company has been warning that revenue growth will remain constrained.
"This downward pressure on unit revenues is driven by a double-digit increase in industry domestic capacity vs. last year, which is well in excess of the growth in demand," said Scott Kirby, executive vice president of sales and marketing at America West. "We expect the industry revenue environment to remain depressed through at least the back half of 2004."
, a low-cost carrier that competes with
Delta Air Lines
in Atlanta, filled 77.3% of its seats during June, up from 74.4% a year ago. The company reported record traffic for the month of June, up 19% vs. a capacity increase of 14.5%.
With strong results in April and May, AirTran said that traffic rose 21.4% during the second quarter, coming in at a record 4.1 billion revenue passenger miles. Company shares rose 13 cents, or 0.9%, to $14.17, while shares of Delta sank on the news, dropping 22 cents, or 3.1%, to $6.82.