Rising fuel bill hurts US Airways 3Q profit, although fare increases help

October 27, 2011 7:26 AM0 commentsViews: 14

Rising fuel bill hurts US Airways 3Q profit, although fare increases help

US Airways said higher fuel prices pushed down its third-quarter profit, but passenger demand is strong.

US Airways and other airlines have been raising fares, which have covered at least some of the higher fuel costs. US Airways revenue rose 8 per cent to $3.44 billion, a little more than analysts expected.

The airline earned $76 million, or 41 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30. A year ago it earned $240 million, or $1.22 per share. It said it would have earned 51 cents per share if not for special items. That was 3 cents per share more than expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Its fuel bill rose by $356 million even though it burned a half-per cent less fuel.

US Airways, the nation’s fifth-biggest airline, cut flying by 1.2 per cent during the quarter. Even with fewer seats available, traffic grew by 1 per cent.

“We see continued strong demand in the fourth quarter,” said Chairman and CEO Doug Parker in a written statement. “Thanks to continued capacity discipline, aggressive cost control and focus on outstanding operating reliability, we believe US Airways is well positioned for 2012.”

The airline ended the quarter with $2.04 billion in cash, more than it has had at this time of year since 2007.

Shares of Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways Group Inc. rose 29 cents, or 5.1 per cent, to $5.95 in morning trading.

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