Alaska anticipates flat unit revenue in Q3

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Alaska Airlines anticipates that passenger unit revenue during the three months ending 30 September will be flat compared to last year.

The Seattle-based carrier expects consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) to be between 13.30 cents and 13.40 cents, in an investor update today. It was 14.21 cents during the third quarter of 2011.

Unit costs excluding fuel are expected to decline by 1% to 1.5% to between 8.05 cents and 8.10 cents during the third quarter. Alaska's previous guidance anticipated that it would be between 8.15 cents and 8.25 cents.

The airline anticipates that its average fuel cost will be $3.24 per gallon, which is down from $3.26 in September.

Passenger traffic rose by 7.2% and capacity by 6.8% during the third quarter versus 2011, according to the update. The load factor was up 0.4 percentage points to 86.9%.