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United Continental (UAL) Traffic and Load Factor Rise in July

Chicago-based United Continental Holdings (UAL), the parent company of United Airlines, reported impressive traffic numbers for the month of July with load factor (% of seats filled by passengers) rising as traffic growth outpaced capacity expansion.  

Traffic

Traffic – measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs) – stood at 20.7 billion, up 1.2% from 20.5 billion recorded a year ago. On a year-over-year basis, consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) inched up 0.7% to 23.7 billion. Meanwhile, the load factor increased to 87.5% from 87.0% a year ago.

At the end of the first seven months of 2016, the carrier recorded RPMs of 121.3 billion (up 0.1% year over year) and ASMs of 146.7 billion (up 0.8% year over year). Load factor contracted 60 basis points to 82.7% in the month.

The company posted a July On-time Performance of 62.3% and a completion factor of 97.0%.

The carrier said that it continues to expect consolidated PRASM in the third quarter to decline in the band of 5.50% to 7.50%.

Agreement with Technicians

United Continental along with International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) declared an in principle agreement for a joint contract. The deal, yet to be ratified, covers around 9,000 technicians and employees of United Continental. The contract highlights the company’s consistent initiatives toward improving it operational efficiency.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

United Continental currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the transportation sector include Copa Holdings SA (CPA) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Dynagas LNG Partners LP (DLNG) and SkyWest Inc. (SKYW) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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