Hawaiian revises Q1 guidance downwards

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Hawaiian Airlines revised its operating and cost guidance for the quarter ending 31 March 2013 in an investor update filed today with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Honolulu-based carrier expects cost per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel to decline between 5.5% and 8.5% compared to the first quarter of 2012, when CASM was 8.99 cents. Hawaiian had predicted in a 29 January conference call that CASM would drop 3% to 6%.

Hawaiian attributes the decline to certainty of maintenance costs, timing of maintenance events and a drop in commissions and other selling expenses as a result of a decrease in its passenger load factor. The airline says its load factor for the quarter would fall 1.5 percentage points to 3.5 percentage points below its first quarter 2012 load factor, which was 83.8%. In January the company predicted the decline would be no more than two percentage points.

Hawaiian also revised downward revenue projections, estimating that passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the quarter would be 9.5% to 12.5% down from PRASM for the same period last year, which was 12.45 cents. The airline, which had predicted PRASM would decline between 6% and 9%, attributed the drop to lower-than-expected loads and yields on a small number of international routes.

In addition, Hawaiian says operating revenue per available seat mile would fall 9% to 12%, instead of 7% to 10%. It says passenger revenue per revenue passenger mile (RPM) would decline 6.5% to 9.5%, not 5% to 8%.

Operating revenue per ASM was 13.86 cents in the first quarter of 2012 and passenger revenue per RPM was 14.86 cents.