Alaska Air's February passenger traffic jump matches capacity increases

Staff writerMarch 5, 2014 

Passenger traffic growth for SeaTac's Alaska Airlines marched in step with the airline's capacity growth last month, the airline said Wednesday.

That passenger traffic measured in miles traveled by paying passengers rose by 4.2 percent in February. The airline's capacity rose an identical amount.

That translated to Alaska planes being a little more than 85 percent occupied on average by paying passengers, the same percentage as in February, 2013.

The airline's on-time arrival record for February fell from 90.6 percent in February a year ago to 85.4 percent this year in the same month. At least part of that decline was due to blizzards that repeatedly swept through the nation's midsection and East Coast last month.

Alaska's regional sister airline, Horizon Air, didn't fare quite as well in growing traffic. That airline saw traffic measured in revenue passenger miles grow by .6 percent while capacity increased by 2.5 percent.

As a result, Horizon's aircraft were less full last month than in February a year earlier.  Horizon's flights operated on average 78.8 percent full last month compared with 80 percent full in the second month of 2013.

Horizon's on-time arrivals declined also. The airline recorded 82.2 percent of its flights on time last month compared with 92.4 percent a year earlier.

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