SeaTac-based Alaska Airlines saw a nearly 20 percent jump in its passenger traffic last month compared with March 2010.
The airline said it flew 1.967 billion revenue passenger miles in March compared with 1.65 billion in March of last year. A revenue passenger mile is one paying passenger flown one mile.
The number of available seat miles grew by 15.3 percent in that same month. That translates to 87.4 percent of the airline’s seats being filled with paying passengers in March. That’s 2.9 percentage points greater than the comparable period in 2010.
Meanwhile, at Alaska’s regional sister airline – Horizon Air – passenger traffic fell marginally (0.1 percent) on a capacity decrease of 7.5 percent. That raised Horizon’s passenger load factor (the percentage of seats filled by fare-paying passengers) to 79.1 percent, up 5.8 percentage points from March 2010.
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Both airlines saw their on-time performance fall in March. That decline was mostly the fault of a power failure that affected both airlines’ flight-planning computers March 25. Between them, the two airlines canceled hundreds of flights until the computer systems could be restored.
Even with the hundreds of cancellations that day, both airlines’ on-time performance for the month remained more than 80 percent. Alaska reported that 82.6 percent of its flights were on time. Horizon said 80.2 percent of its flights were on schedule.