Market Overview

Southwest Airlines November Traffic Up, RASM View Raised


Southwest Airlines Company LUV recently reported traffic numbers for November. Revenue Passenger Miles (RPMs) — a measure of air traffic — increased 3.4% year over year to 10.80 billion in the month. Meanwhile Available Seat Miles (ASMs) — a measure of capacity — climbed 2.5% to 12.58 billion. Load factor (the percentage of seats filled by passengers) inched up 70 basis points (bps) to 85.8% in November owing to traffic growth outpacing capacity expansion.

On a year-to-date basis, Southwest Airlines witnessed a 3.5% rise in RPMs to 118.33 billion. Also, ASMs grew 3.7% to 140.94 billion. As a result, the load factor decreased 20 bps to 84%. Additionally, passenger count in the first 11 months of 2017 rose 3.9% to 144.33 billion.

The company now anticipates fourth-quarter 2017 operating revenues per ASM (RASM) to increase 1-2%, higher than the previous guidance of a slight growth up to 1.5%.


Southwest Airlines Company Price

Additionally, the carrier has been making continued efforts to extend operations. To this end, it recently announced the launch of daily international flights from Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Providenciales International Airport (in the Turks and Caicos Islands). Further, the carrier has begun flights from FLL to San Jose, Costa Rica and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Moreover, it aims to start services between Houston and Grand Cayman on Saturdays from Jun 9, 2018 (read more: Southwest Airlines to Expand With More International Flights).

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Southwest Airlines carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the airline space are Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. GOL, International Consolidated Airlines Group SA ICAGY and Deutsche Lufthansa AG DLAKY. While Gol Linhas and International Consolidated Airlines sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Deutsche Lufthansa carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of Gol Linhas, International Consolidated Airlines and Deutsche Lufthansa have soared more than 200%, 56% and 100%, respectively, in a year.

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE: LUV): Free Stock Analysis Report
Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. (NYSE: GOL): Free Stock Analysis Report
Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DLAKY): Free Stock Analysis Report
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (ICAGY): Free Stock Analysis Report
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The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

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