Analyst downgrades Alaska Air stock after planes fly less full in November

Staff writerDecember 10, 2013 

The growing feud between SeaTac's Alaska Air Group and Delta Air Lines may be taking its first toll on Alaska's stock.

Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Linenberg has downgraded the airline holding company's stock from hold to sell.  Alaska's stock fell today to $74.03 down more than $4 a share from its late November high.

The stock, however, is still up nearly 70 percent this year.

The downgrade came after Alaska reported that its passenger traffic increases in November failed to keep pace with its capacity increases.

The airline holding company, parent of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, saw a 1.5 percent increase in its passenger traffic last month on an increase in capacity of 6.7 percent. 

That mismatch resulted in a 4.2 percentage point drop in the percentage of seats filled on Alaska flights.

Delta, a partner of Alaska in its frequent flier program and in code-sharing flights, has rapidly added to its repertoire of Sea-Tac flights to support its growing international flight schedule from the airport.

Many of those flights either already flying or planned to begin next year are in Alaska's key West Coast markets such as between Sea-Tac and San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Vancouver.

Fare wars are developing among West Coast airlines with fares as low as $49 to the San Francisco Bay area and $69 to Los Angeles.  Both Alaska and Delta are offering frequent fliers double miles on key competitive routes.

Alaska recently announced it will compete with Delta on four new routes between the West Coast and Delta's hub in Salt Lake City.

The News Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service