Mesa Air Group, the holding company for Phoenix-based regional carrier Mesa Airlines, reported net income of $33.3 million for FY2018, up 1.5% from the $32.8 million recorded during FY2017.

“In spite of industry challenges, there were a number of positive developments in the quarter, most notably the progress we have made increasing the utilization of our aircraft through a combination of strong hiring and declining attrition among our pilots, reduced training backlog, and improved utilization of existing resources,” Mesa Air Group chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein said.

Revenues for the period came in at $681.6 million, 5.6% higher than the $643.6 million recorded last fiscal year. Expenses at the regional airline totaled $608.9 million, up 10.7% from the $543.3 million recorded in FY2017.

Capacity, as measured by available seat miles, came in 2.6% higher at 9.7 billion ASMs. More than 3.7 billion passengers flew on the regional airline during the most recent fiscal year, up 14.9% from the 3.2 billion passengers who flew in 2017.

Mesa finished its fiscal year with a fleet of 145 aircraft, including 60 Embraer E175s, 64 Bombardier CRJ900s, 20 CRJ700s and one CRJ200. The airline is in the process of negotiating the purchase of 10 additional aircraft currently on lease and expects to complete the transaction by the end of March 2019, according to president and CFO Mike Lotz.

The group completed an initial public offering in August, during which it raised approximately $112 million, and paid down $25.6 million outstanding on its revolving credit facility, reducing annual interest expenses by $1.2 million.

For the quarter ended Sept.30, the group recorded net income of $19.4 million, up from $5.5 million during the same period last year. Revenues were 11.3% higher at $177.5 million, while costs were nearly flat at $135.7 million. Capacity for the quarter was 17.5% higher, at 2.7 billion ASMs.

Ben Goldstein, Ben.Goldstein@aviationweek.com