SeaTac’s Alaska Airlines reports its March traffic continued a months-long trend of increases over the same months last year.
The airline said it saw a 4.7 percent increase in revenue passenger miles last month over March 2011. A revenue passenger mile is one paying passenger flown one mile. That increase was larger than the airline’s capacity increase of 3 percent over that same period.
The result was fuller planes for the airline. Alaska planes operated at 88.8 percent of their capacity in March compared with 87.4 percent a year ago.
For Alaska’s sister airline, Horizon, passenger traffic fell by 15.2 percent while capacity dropped by 14.3 percent. That shrinkage in part was deliberate as Horizon eliminated jet aircraft from its fleet and focus only on a single aircraft, the turboprop Bombardier Q400. Horizon planes were slightly less full last month, 78.3 percent, compared with March 2011, 79.1 percent.
Alaska’s regional jet flights are now handled by Skywest under a contract.
Both Alaska and Horizon improved their on-time performance On Alaska, 85.3 percent of flights were on-time compared with 82.6 percent last year in March. On Horizon, 88.1 percent of flights were on-time in March. In March last year, that figure was 80.2 percent.