Alaska sees continuing strong demand

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Alaska Airlines sees demand remaining strong into the spring, says chief financial officer Brandon Pedersen.

“Looking forward, we see strength in broad, underlying demand and bookings for the spring are shaping up nicely,” he says during an earnings call today. He does not provide specific guidance.

The improvement comes as Seattle-based Alaska is feeling revenue pressure from the growth of Delta Air Lines at Seattle Tacoma International airport, says Pedersen.

Alaska reported a 1.7% increase in passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) in the first quarter.

Advance bookings are flat in April, up 0.5 percentage points in May and flat in June, according to an investor update today.

Costs per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel are expected to rise by roughly 1.5% in the second quarter, following a 0.5% increase during the previous quarter, says Pedersen.

Alaska plans to increase capacity by about 4.5% in the second quarter.

The airline anticipates roughly flat full year CASM excluding fuel, says Pedersen.

Fuel is expected to average roughly $3.26 per gallon in the second quarter, according to the update.