Alaska Airlines: Business Travel Recovery Accelerating

Alaska Airlines’ executives said that one quarter after projecting business travel volumes could rebound to 50% of 2019 levels by the year end, an increase in demand in June convinced them that they could achieve that benchmark in 2021. This was according to the airline’s second-quarter earnings conference.

According to Andrew Harrison, Alaska Air Group chief commercial officer and EVP, the airline’s passenger capacity in Seattle was 2 percent greater than the first quarter 2019. The carrier now operates about 80 percent its pre-pandemic network. President and CEO Ben Minicucci stated that the carrier intends to restore its entire network by 2022, if not sooner.

Harrison stated that the airline was encouraged by “an acceleration in the return to business travel.” He said that indirect corporate bookings had increased by 40 to 50% in the last three weeks and “we’re hopeful this will continue.” Harrison stated that the carrier expects to achieve 50 percent of its 2019 business travel volumes “ahead” of the year’s end.

Harrison stated that the Oneworld alliance entry and partnership of American Airlines has resulted in increased access to corporate accounts. He said that more than 90 percent of Alaska’s highest-ranking corporate accounts have executed, or will execute, a joint contract between Alaska and American.

Minicucci stated that Alaska will temporarily activate 10 Airbus planes in order to increase capacity and meet increasing demand. Minicucci said that the Covid-19 Delta variant could “pose some risks in the recovery trajectory”, but added that there are no signs of slowing demand.

Alaska Air Group saw its passenger revenues increase 338 percent over the previous year, to $1.35 Billion in the second quarter. For the second quarter, the carrier posted net income of $397million. This compares to a loss of $214million in 2020’s second quarter. Alaska’s most recent quarter saw an increase in income from federal Payroll Support Program money. However, this was minus other items and Alaska suffered a loss of $38million.

RELATED: Alaska Q1 earnings

Publited at Thu 22 July 2021, 20:36.28 +0000

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *