January weakest month for go! flights
It was the first time its load factor dropped below 60 percent
Go! filled just more than half of its planes' available seating in January as the new interisland airline carried the fewest number of passengers for a full month since entering the Hawaii market in early June.
The Hawaii division of Phoenix-based parent Mesa Air Group Inc. reported yesterday a load factor of 58.4 percent in the seasonally weak month, the first time it has ever been below 60 percent. Its previous lows for load factor and passengers were 62.9 percent and 57,383, respectively, in October when it encountered some disruptions to operations due to the Hawaii earthquakes. Go!'s best load factor was 82.5 percent, during its first month of operation while it carried its most passengers -- 69,680 -- in July during its first full month of service.
Jonathan Ornstein, chairman and chief executive of Mesa, said yesterday he wasn't concerned that the load factor and the number of passengers hit a low in January.
"It's a seasonally slow part of the month and we also know that things slowed down overall in Hawaii (visitor arrivals fell 5.7 percent)," Ornstein said. "We have very fierce competition. But nonetheless, when we look at this over the long haul, we don't get too concerned over one or two months. For us, the trends are still very positive and we want to do whatever we can to expand our operations."
In other categories for January, go!'s revenue passenger miles, or the total miles flown by paying passengers, were 7.6 million; its available seat miles were 12.9 million; its overall completion factor was 100 percent and its on-time arrival rate was 96.3 percent.
Hawaiian Airlines, which reported its January figures in early February, said its load factor for its interisland and trans-Pacific flights combined decreased 3.5 points to 84 percent from 87.5 percent a year earlier and fell 1 point from 85 percent in November. The total number of passengers carried by Hawaiian rose 12.2 percent to 546,164 from the year-earlier period and 3 percent from the previous month because Hawaiian added more flights.
Aloha Airlines, which is privately held, doesn't release its air traffic numbers but does report them to the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The posting of those numbers are always delayed several months and the January figures won't be released until April.