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AirTran announces record first quarter net income

23rd April 2009 - 09:03 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


AirTran Holdings, the parent company of AirTran Airways, has reported record net income of $28.7 million for the first quarter of 2009 along with record operating income of $47.7 million.

The company also posted revenues of $542.0 million and achieved the highest first quarter load factor in company history at 76.3%.

The combination of lower fuel prices, low costs and quality service, coupled with fleet and route network adjustments has resulted in the best first quarter earnings in the company's history. Total fuel costs for the quarter were down 50.5% year-over-year on a 7.2% reduction in capacity as measured by available seat miles (ASMs).

"Our ability to report a profit today is rooted in the difficult decisions we made last year. AirTran Airways was among the first airlines to react to the changing economic environment and we are among the first to show signs of recovery," said Bob Fornaro, AirTran Airways' chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Our crewmembers deserve much of the credit as they continue to provide a high-quality product to our customers seeking real value."

During the first quarter, AirTran Airways expanded service in several markets that represented opportunities for significant traffic. Flights in Milwaukee have increased more than 50% year-over-year and more than 30 scheduled daily departures are planned for the summer schedule. Additional flights and new cities were also added to the Orlando route network and AirTran Airways now has more than 60 peak day departures to 36 destinations and is the second largest carrier to America's top vacation destination.

"AirTran Airways' ability to be nimble and responsive to changing market conditions is a tremendous competitive advantage. Increasing flights to and from Milwaukee and Orlando while redesigning our Atlanta hub schedule to make the network more efficient and productive are the latest examples of this capability," said Kevin Healy, senior vice-president of marketing and planning for the airline.

As the company expanded to new markets, AirTran Airways remained sharply focused on remaining the lowest cost producer among major airlines. "While the weakening economy has begun to pressure prices throughout the airline sector, our industry leading, low-cost structure has allowed us to offset this challenge," declared Arne Haak, senior vice-president of finance, treasurer and chief financial officer for AirTran Airways. "We are committed to maintaining our low cost advantage and expect to remain profitable every quarter this year despite the current economic environment."

The Shephard News Team


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