US Airways ups capacity growth in 2013

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US Airways anticipates that capacity will grow by 3% this year, as it expands international flying.

The Tempe, Arizona-based Star Alliance carrier expects to increase international capacity by 3.6% and domestic capacity by 2.7% versus 2012, says Derek Kerr, chief financial officer of US Airways, during an earnings call today.

US Airways anticipated a 2.5% annual increase in capacity this past October.

International growth will be driven by the delivery of five Airbus A330-200s. The airline will launch a daily flight between Charlotte and Sao Paulo Guarulhos on 5 May, and has previously talked about launching daily flights between Phoenix and either Frankfurt or London Heathrow this year.

Domestic growth will come from upgauging aircraft. US Airways plans to add 16 Airbus A321s and two Embraer 190s, and remove three Airbus A320s and 18 Boeing 737-400s during 2013.

Costs per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel and special items are expected to increase by 2% to 4% during the first quarter versus the same period in 2012, according to an investor update today. US Airways anticipates that they will be either flat or decrease by 2% for the full year.

Mainline fuel expenses will be $3.13 to $3.18 per gallon for the full year, says Kerr.

Capital expenditures are expected to be $340 million in 2013. This is split between $170 million for non-aircraft expenses and $160 million of net aircraft expenses.

Kerr says that the airline plans to benefit from $1.5 billion in deferred net operating losses tax benefits to avoid paying federal income tax this year.