Alaska predicts lower unit costs in 2014

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Alaska Airlines expects its cost per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel will be less in 2014 than previously expected.

The Seattle-based airline predicts the figure will be between 8.40 cents and 8.43 cents for the full year, less than the range of 8.42 cents to 8.45 cents the company predicted on 24 July, according to documents Alaska filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

By comparison, Alaska closed 2013 with a full-year CASM excluding fuel of 8.47 cents.

The company also estimates its third quarter CASM excluding fuel will be between 8.13 cents and 8.18 cents — 10 cents less than previously predicted and in line with Alaska’s third quarter 2013 CASM excluding fuel of 8.16 cents.

Alaska excludes fuel from CASM predictions because future fuel prices are uncertain, says the company.

Still, Alaska does provide fuel predictions.

It estimates it will use 123 million gallons of fuel in the third quarter — one million more than previously predicted — at an average price of $3.22 per gallon, up from the previous per-gallon estimate of $3.16.