SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

April 18, 2012 08:20 ET

Despite Rising Fuel and Airfare Prices Travel Demand Remains Steady

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on Alaska Air Group and Southwest Airlines

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 18, 2012) - Rising fuel and airfare prices have been a major concern for airlines and travellers this year. Despite the concerns, demand for both leisure and business travel appears to be steady, and analysts are still expecting most airlines to be profitable this year. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Airlines Industry and provides equity research on Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) and Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV).

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"Gas prices and airfare prices would need to move up even further than they are now to have a material impact on overall leisure demand this summer, whether it be flying or driving," said Clem Bason, president of the Hotwire Group, which includes travel websites and "Business travel is generally more resilient than leisure travel, so unless fares begin to skyrocket beyond what's already expected, business travel demand should remain consistent."

Paragon Report releases regular market updates on the Airlines Industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at and get exclusive access to our numerous stock reports and industry newsletters.

Alaska Air Group Inc. recently reported March operational results for its subsidiaries, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, and on a combined basis. Alaska reported a 4.7 percent increase in traffic on a 3.0 percent increase in capacity compared to March 2011. This resulted in a 1.4-point increase in load factor to a record 88.8 percent, the highest load factor of any month in Air Group's history. Horizon reported a 15.2 percent decline in March traffic on a 14.3 percent decline in capacity compared to March 2011. This resulted in a 0.8-point decrease in load factor to 78.3 percent.

Southwest Airlines Co. recently reported March 2012 combined traffic results for Southwest Airlines and AirTran. The Company flew 9.1 billion revenue passenger miles (RPMs) in March 2012, compared to 9.2 billion combined RPMs flown in March 2011, a decrease of 0.9 percent. Available seat miles (ASMs) decreased 0.9 percent to 11.1 billion from the March 2011 combined level of 11.2 billion. The load factor for March 2012 was 81.8 percent, compared to the combined load factor of 81.9 percent in March 2011. For March 2012, passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM) is estimated to have increased approximately five percent as compared to March 2011's combined PRASM.

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