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Continental's July Unit Revenue Dips Less Than in June

We can now officially declare July traffic season open. Continental, as usual, was the first to report its July numbers. Loads stayed strong (up 3 points) on a nearly 7 percent drop in capacity. But let's talk about revenues.

In May, unit revenues plunged 19.9 percent year-over-year. June was predicted to fall between 19.5 and 20.5 percent. Where did it land? Right at 19.9 percent once again. So how are the early July estimates shaping up? They are predicting a decrease of *only* 16.5 to 17.5 percent.

Now you know things are still bad when a 16.5 to 17.5 percent decrease in unit revenue is considered good news, but that's where we stand today. Summer traffic seemed to kick into gear a bit late this year, so that's why this month may have come together a bit better than June.

The big question, of course, is what will happen after the summer is over. Peak summer travel season is over in mid-August, so by the time we see August results, we should have some good indicators. September is likely to be ugly, but then again, last September is when the first round of massive capacity cuts happened. So the year over year numbers will have a different baseline to work from.