Record first quarter profit for Sun Country
Sun Country Airlines has announced record first quarter net income of $8.1 million, a significant change from the net loss of $8.3 million in the first quarter of 2008.
“We are pleased with the record financial performance and the success of our turnaround to date,” said Stan Gadek, chairman and CEO. “I am very proud of the hard work and determination of every person on the Sun Country team. They deserve full credit for these outstanding results and having overcome significant challenges during the past year.”
First quarter operating income was $9.8 million and the operating margin was 15.3%, both representing all-time records for the airline. Contributing to the operating income were significant year-over-year gains in charter and ancillary revenue as well as an 8.3% increase in passenger unit revenue (RASM) to 8.31 cents per available seat mile.
During the first quarter, Sun Country’s operating unit costs (CASM) declined 5.9% to 8.06 cents per available seat mile as a result of lower fuel costs and improved cost controls and efficiencies. The load factor increased by 8.3 percentage points from 71.5% in 1Q08 to 79.8% in 1Q09.
“Our greatest thanks go out to our customers who have continued to support Sun Country with their business,” Gadek said. “People not only want low fares, they want great service, and they receive both on Sun Country Airlines.”
As a result of this performance, the company also announced that it will complete the repayment of employee deferred wages on 22 April. This will represent the fifth and final payment and will include 3% interest on the amount of deferred wages. “We have an outstanding employee group and I am pleased to return their wages with interest which they contributed to the company,” Gadek declared.
So far this year Sun Country has announced new non-stop service to Branson, MO, from Minneapolis/St Paul and Dallas/Ft Worth and from Minneapolis/St Paul to Boston, plus the return of seasonal services in April from Minneapolis/St Paul to Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington-Dulles. The airline has also added two Boeing 737-700s to its fleet of 737-800 aircraft.