LONDON – Alaska Airlines (AS) has announced that passenger numbers for the months May to July are up 168%.

These increases reflects on customer consumer confidence increasing within the United States.

May 2020 saw AS handle 424,000 passengers, which is a 90% drop compared to the same period last year.

Airline load factor was recorded at 40%, with total revenue decreased by 83%.

Capacity, which is measured through available seat miles, also was down by 79% year-on-year.

PHOTO: Alaska Airlines.

June Numbers

June saw the airline handle 887,000 passengers, which is well over double compared to May.

However that figure is down 79% compared to the same period last year.

Capacity was down 68% year-on-year, but again a better decrease than recorded in May.

Load factors also increased from 40% in May 2020 to 52%.

Image Courtesy of Alaska Airlines

July Figures

July represented the biggest growth for the airline in that three-month period.

1.137 million passengers were carried in that one month alone.

This was up by 168% compared to May.

However, passenger numbers were down by 74%, with capacity also down by 63%.

Load factors increased by two percentage points to 54% from 52% in June.

Good Load Factors?

It could be suggested that with the airline’s policy of blocking seats to promote social distancing, the numbers are strong.

Alaska Airlines is only allowing 60-70% of its seats to be booked, according to Simple Flying.

With the airline looking at ways to reduce cash burn and also increase liquidity, this is probably the best it can get at the moment.

Last month saw Alaska Airlines place up to 61 of its aircraft as collateral for $1.2 billion of funding in return.

Cash burn for July was recorded at US$175m and is expected to reduce to US$125m this month.

Repositioning Ahead

The airline has taken a few steps during this pandemic in order to reposition itself and to create a sustainable plan post-COVID.

Back in June, the airline added the Embraer E175 to the in-state fleet, which are to be operated by Alaska Horizon under the Horizon Air (QX) name.

Fast forward ahead to July, when numbers were beginning to rise further, the airline made two strides.

The first was the announcement of 12 new routes from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

This included seven routes to Southern California alone.

The final big move was over the airline announcing it would join the oneworld alliance later this year.

Alaska Airlines becomes the 14th airline to join the alliance.

It will benefit from the connectivity of more than 1,000 destinations across 170 different territories through such code-sharing arrangements.

Looking ahead, the airline does indeed have significant plans to grow, even in a COVID-disrupted world.

It will be interesting to see what the August numbers hold and whether it reflects on an incremental gain in American air travel.

Featured Image: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737. Photo: Alaska Airlines