Wed, Mar 18, 2009
"Moderately Encouraged" By Future Bookings
There was more measured optimism expressed Monday on a JP Morgan
Chase & Co. analyst conference call, by US Airways President
Scott Kirby. He said while the airline cut international capacity 2
percent for the coming summer travel season in the face of a rapid
decline in demand for first- and business-class seats, the market
Kirby added while international flights were thinned, no cities
had service cut completely. "We didn't pull out of any markets,"
Kirby said, before thoughfully adding, "We are evaluating the
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Kirby told analysts that in
February, revenue for booked flights began to "stabilize" at levels
below 2008's fourth quarter, and have been up slightly in
"We are moderately encouraged for April and beyond," Kirby
US Airways has announced further capacity cuts of 4-to-6 percent
of its domestic capacity in 2009. Kirby moved to clarify earlier
statements by CEO Doug Parker that the airline could cut only so
much capacity without violating its contract with pilots.
"That really is not the constraining factor," he said. "We do
have some fleet flexibility as we move forward."
He also confirmed that a fare war has broken out among US
domestic airlines for summer travel, as capacity cuts have not kept
pace with falling demand for seats. That's good news for
passengers... but less so for airlines hoping to eke out profits
amidst a global economic downturn.
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