Revenue Passenger Miles (RPMs) are up 6% not RASM. PRASM is seen as down 5-7%. Revenue would only be up if ASM increased more than PRASM. RPMs don't tell us anything other than the fact that the decrease in PRASM is due to more people flying but at lower fares and the increase in passengers is not enough to offset the lower fares.
I understand management's thinking--that interest rates are so low, they will get a better return buying back stock than they will paying back debt. But I believe this stance is arrogant and short-sighted.
The decision should not necessarily be about return on investment. It's about risk. Having a reduced share count isn't going to do diddly squat during the next economic downturn, whenever that happens. However, having a lower debt burden will reduce interest payments, save the company money, and make it much less likely that the company would have to declare bankruptcy yet again were a crisis to occur. Debt repayment guarantees a minimum return on investment of some value greater than zero, whereas share buybacks can result in a negative ROI, as it has as of now.