ExpressJet reports Q4 and full 2008 results
For the twelve months ended 31 December 2008, ExpressJet Holdings reported a loss, excluding special charges, of $54.7 million compared to a loss of $65.6 million for the same period in 2007. Including the special items mentioned above, ExpressJet's loss totalled $88.2 million for the twelve months ended December 2008 versus $70.2 million for the previous year.
ExpressJet reported a fourth quarter 2008 loss, excluding special charges, of $5.7 million versus a $27.1 million loss for the same period in 2007. These results represent a $21.4 million net income improvement. Including special items related to suspended flying operations and tax adjustments related to the Internal Revenue Code, ExpressJet reported a fourth quarter loss of $30.2 million versus a fourth quarter 2007 reported loss of $31.7 million.
"This quarter we focused on executing under our amended capacity purchase agreement (CPA) with Continental, implementing additional cost savings measures and expanding our charter customer base," said ExpressJet president and CEO, Jim Ream. "Our continued discipline and near-perfect service allowed ExpressJet to produce positive cash flows from operations during the last two months of 2008."
The fourth quarter of 2008 represented ExpressJet's first, full quarter of operations with 214 aircraft under its amended CPA with Continental Airlines that became effective on 1 July. Under this agreement, ExpressJet flew 157,101 block hours during the quarter. The block hours flown for Continental during the fourth quarter declined by 8.6% compared to third quarter 2008, and resulted in an average utilisation of approximately 8 hours per day. This decline was in-line with expectations. Given the current economic slow down, ExpressJet expects to continue operating at reduced utilisation levels during the first quarter of 2009, but anticipates utilisation increasing during the peak summer travel months.
For the full year 2008, ExpressJet operated 705,557 block hours. ExpressJet flew these hours under its agreements with Continental and Delta Air Lines. The company used 205 aircraft for the first six months of the year under its original CPA with Continental. An additional nine aircraft were flown under the amended agreement during the second-half of 2008 for a total of 214 aircraft operating for Continental at year end. Under the CPA with Delta, ExpressJet operated 10 aircraft until 2 September 2008 at which time flying operations were suspended due to record-breaking fuel prices.
ExpressJet also brought to an end its own branded flying operation in 2008.