SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

April 18, 2012 08:20 ET

Rising Fuel and Airfare Costs Not Expected to Effect Travel Demand

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways

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 Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) and JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU).

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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."

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Delta Air Lines reported its financial and operating performance for March 2012. March consolidated passenger unit revenue (PRASM) increased 13.0 percent compared to the prior year period as a result of strong demand, particularly from corporate customers, which generated improvements in yield and load factor across all regions. Revenue for the month exceeded prior expectations on improved close-in bookings and better Pacific performance. System traffic increased 2.0 percent on a 3.4 percent reduction in capacity, resulting in a 4.4 point improvement in load factor.

JetBlue Airways Corporation reported its preliminary traffic results for March 2012. Traffic in March increased 12.5 percent from March 2011, on a capacity increase of 9.0 percent. Load factor for March 2012 was 86.3 percent, an increase of 2.7 points from March 2011. JetBlue's preliminary completion factor was 99.6 percent and its on-time performance was 80.0 percent. JetBlue's preliminary passenger revenue per available seat mile for the month of March increased eight percent year over year.

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