Alaska Air Group Traffic Up Despite Storms

April 10, 2017

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Alaska Air Group reported its March and first quarter 2017 traffic numbers on Monday, including its Alaska Airlines and Virgin America units.

March saw a 5.4 percent increase in revenue passengers carried by the group at 3.74 million, with Alaska up 7.3 percent, but Virgin America had a more modest 1.4 percent increase on March 2016.

For the quarter to end March, the group flew just over 10 million passengers, a 4.4 percent increase on the previous year. Alaska carried 5.95 million, up 5.5 percent, and Virgin America 1.83 million, a 3.8 percent increase. Regional operations at Horizon, SkyWest and Peninsula Airlines accounted for the remaining 2.23 million passengers carried by the group in 1Q17.

In revenue passenger miles (RPK) terms the group saw a 5.5 percent increase in March, on an available seat miles (ASM) capacity increase of 5.7 percent. Load factor edged down 0.2 percentage points to 85.4 percent as a result.

Alaska Airlines again had the greater share of growth with RPMs up 6.8 percent against Virgin America’s 2.4 percent. Alaska added 6.9 percent ASM capacity during the month, whereas Virgin added 2.9 percent. Load factors for both subsidiaries edged down slightly.

Regional RPM traffic increased 3.1 percent on a 4.0 percent ASM increase in capacity compared to March 2016

The group said winter storms during the quarter had significantly affected operational performance across its network.