Thursday was a good day for stocks generally, but it was especially warm and breezy for shareholders of Azul (AZUL 2.87%). The South American airline ascended by nearly 3%, bettering the 1.5% rise of the S&P 500 index, thanks to some encouraging monthly metrics it published that morning.
Although the results are preliminary and thus not yet official, they showed very strong growth on a year-over-year basis. Revenue passenger kilometers (RPK; a key metric for air carriers) for June increased a sturdy 40% over the same month last year. Azul's overall load factor, i.e. the passenger capacity utilization of its planes, rose by 2.5 percentage points over that stretch of time to just over 79%.
Since Azul is an airline based in, and heavily concentrated on, its home market of Brazil -- South America's largest and most populous country by far -- it's heavily dependent on domestic travel. Yet it recorded some very robust gains in the international segment, with RPK more than quadrupling year over year to around 359 million. The domestic figure, meanwhile, was nearly 2.2 billion for a 26% increase.
"Our competitive advantages and disciplined capacity allocation continue to give us confidence in the revenue environment going forward," Azul quoted CEO John Rodgerson as saying. As is typical for airline traffic figure releases, however, the company provided no guidance for future periods.
Nevertheless, those heavily positive numbers are extremely encouraging, even with the expected rises given the pent-up demand for travel in this stage of the coronavirus pandemic. With June being the first month of the summer, this particularly bodes well for the rest of the critically important period for companies in every segment of the travel industry.