JetBlue's August Load Factor Declines

JetBlue Airways Corp. reported late Friday August load factor, a key metric for airlines, that declined from a year ago, as capacity growth outpaced an increase in traffic. The load factor declined 1.3 percentage points to 87.0%. Available seat miles, or capacity, increased 8.3% to 4.56 billion, while revenue passenger miles, or traffic, grew 6.7% to 3.97 billion. The company said the preliminary passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for August declined by about 3%, hurt by the late Labor Day holiday. For the third quarter, JetBlue expects PRASM to change between -0.5% to +0.5%. The stock slipped 0.5% in after-hours trade, after climbing 1.2% during Friday's regular session. The stock has surged 33% over the past three months, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has declined 6.3% and the S&P 500 has lost 7%.

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