American Airlines January Load Factor Falls As Capacity Grows While Traffic Declines

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

American Airlines Group Inc. reported Thursday that January travel demand declined slightly from a year ago despite an increase in seat supply. Traffic slipped 0.3% to 17.0 billion revenue passenger miles, while capacity increased 1.2% to 21.7 billion available seat miles. That pushed the load factor down to 78.6% from 79.7%. Domestically, traffic fell 1.7% to 9.66 billion RPMs, while capacity increased 0.8% to 12.04 billion ASMs, to knock load factor down to 80.2% from 82.3%. The air carrier affirmed its first-quarter outlook of total revenue per available seat mile (TRASM) growth of 2.5% to 4.5%. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 24% over the past 12 months, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has soared 43% and the S&P 500 has climbed 24%.

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