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Fifth consecutive monthly operating profit for Frontier

29th April 2009 - 00:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Frontier Airlines Holdings has reported its fifth consecutive monthly operating profit and, excluding special items, its second successive quarterly net profit.

For the month of March, Frontier reported a consolidated operating profit of $20.7 million and a total consolidated net loss of $129.9 million. Excluding special items, the company reported an operating profit of $16.7 million and a net profit of $15.2 million for the month.

Frontier also reported a consolidated operating profit of $25.1 million and a net loss of $161.0 million for the first quarter of 2009. Excluding special items, the company reported an operating profit of $13.7 million and a net profit of $7.5 million for the quarter.

Special items for the month of March included $149.0 million in reorganisation expenses, primarily attributable to a Republic Airways unsecured claim allowed by the bankruptcy court plus non-cash mark-to-market gains on fuel hedge contracts of $4.0 million

"I am very proud of our March performance," remarked Frontier president and CEO, Sean Menke. "Despite a near 20% reduction in capacity, we were able to achieve one of the lowest unit costs in the industry. At the same time, our AirFairs product and other revenue initiatives helped offset a decline in bookings and enabled us to produce a net profit and our highest operating margin for any March since 2000. Posting an operating profit of $21 million in the face of a double-digit unit revenue reduction is proof positive that our business model positions Frontier as a leader among low-cost carriers."

Special items for the three months to the end of March 2009 included reorganisation costs of $179.8 million, primarily attributable to a Republic Airways unsecured claim allowed by the bankruptcy court and non-cash mark-to-market gains of $11.4 million on fuel hedging activity.

Frontier's cash position increased to $71.8 million for the period ending March 2009.

"Frontier is one of only a few carriers posting profits in the first quarter of the year," said Menke. "We continue to prove that our restructuring efforts have positioned us to consistently make money in the most competitive market in the country and in the face of the most trying economic times. Clearly, maintaining our low cost structure allows our operation to buck industry trends and make money in a difficult revenue environment."

Menke concluded, "It is a tribute to every Frontier employee that we accomplished these financial results while maintaining the operational excellence that has earned us top marks for our on-time performance, mishandled bags ratio, flight completion, and few customer complaints."

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