The news that Los Angeles International Airport reported a slight uptick in overall passenger traffic last month may not seem like much (year-ago comparisons are pretty favorable), but that promising report matches the surprisingly upbeat comments today by US Airways President Scott Kirby. He expects "a quick spiral up" - and with it, by the way, a jump in fares. Actually, US Airways has it better than Delta and the other legacy lines because it relies less on international travel, which has fallen off a cliff. From the WSJ:
The Tempe, Ariz., company "is slightly more bullish" about the revenue outlook than its rivals, Mr. Kirby said. It also is less exposed to international business traffic than some of its large competitors. He said third-quarter passenger unit revenue declined 9% in the U.S. from a year earlier, compared with a 25% plunge on international routes. He cited the US Airways Shuttle, the mostly business-oriented service that operates in Boston, New York and Washington. Mr. Kirby said unit revenue on the shuffle fell 25% in the second quarter, 16% in the third and is down 5% this month.
Getting back to LAX, it's worth noting that domestic traffic there was up 2.9 percent in September, but international was down 3.7 percent - and it's the international side that airport officials had been counting on as a growth springboard.