COVID-19 affects Hawaiian Airlines future statistical estimates
February ends well but coronavirus is affecting numbers
Despite Hawaiian Airlines announcing today its system-wide traffic statistics for the month ended February 29, 2020 ending on a positive note, the airline also adversely updated its expectations for certain first quarter 2020 financial metrics due to the impact of COVID-19.
Hawaiian welcomed more than 856,000 guests in February 2020. Total traffic (revenue passenger miles) increased 6.4 percent on an increase of 13.3 percent in capacity (available seat miles) compared to February 2019. Load factor decreased 5.2 points year-over-year to 79.3 percent.
The table below summarizes February and year-to-date statistics compared to the respective prior-year periods.
First Quarter 2020 Outlook
Hawaiian Airlines has revised certain of its expectations for the quarter ending March 31, 2020 that were previously provided in its fourth quarter and full year 2019 earnings release dated January 30, 2020.
Specifically, the airline:
- withdrew its estimates for operating revenue per available seat mile (ASM) in light of demand reductions associated with the global spread of COVID-19; the airline is unable to provide an updated guidance range due to considerable uncertainty about the impact of COVID-19 on demand for the remainder of the quarter; if there are no new net bookings for March as of March 5, 2020, RASM would be down about 12 percent year-over-year for the first quarter;
- affirmed its estimates for ASMs; the decrease in capacity caused by the temporary suspension of the airline’s service to South Korea starting from March 2, 2020 is largely offset by an increase in capacity due to up-gauges on North America routes for operational reasons;
- affirmed its estimates for operating cost per ASM excluding fuel and non-recurring items;
- affirmed its estimates for gallons of jet fuel consumed; and
- lowered its estimates for economic fuel cost per gallon.
The table below summarizes the airline’s revised expectations for the quarter ending March 31, 2020 expressed as an expected percentage change compared to the results for the quarter ended March 31, 2019.
Investor Conference Call
Hawaiian Holdings is holding an investor conference call today (March 9, 2020) at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (USA). The conference call will be broadcast live over the Internet. Investors may listen to the live audio webcast on the investor relations section of the airline’s website at HawaiianAirlines.com. For those who are not available for the live webcast, the call will be archived and available for 90 days on the investor relations section of the airline’s website.
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