US Airways increases fuel price guidance

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US Airways expects to pay more for jet fuel in the third and fourth quarters than it previously expected, though its guidance remains below market prices in the first half.

The Tempe, Arizona-based carrier expects to pay an average price of between $2.94 and $2.99 per gallon in the third quarter and between $2.98 and $3.03 per gallon in the fourth quarter, according to a stock exchange filing today. It previously anticipated average prices of $2.84 to $2.89 per gallon in the third quarter and $2.83 and $2.88 in the fourth quarter.

US Airways anticipates that it will pay an average of between $3.07 and $3.12 per gallon for fuel in 2012, according to the filing.

The airline paid an average of $3.17 per gallon for fuel in the second quarter and $3.26 per gallon in the first quarter.

US Airways also increased its capital expenditure guidance for new aircraft to $29 million from $26 million in the fourth quarter. The increase is likely due to the agreement in principle to buy back five Embraer 190s from Republic Airways, which it sold to the carrier in 2009.

Scott Kirby, president of US Airways, says passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) will increase by between 1% to 2% year-on-year in July and either be flat or grow by up to 2% in August and September, in an earnings call today.

PRASM increased 6% year-on-year to 16.47 cents at US Airways during the second quarter.