Loren Farrar

AirTran Airways net income falls in second quarter 

AirTran Airways reported a net income of $11.4 million for the second quarter ended June 30, a 32.3% decline from net income of $16.8 million in the year-ago period.

Net income for the first six months also dropped, falling 84.1% to $3.3 million from $20.9 million. "As in the first quarter this year, our financial performance was challenged by continued record high fuel prices, overcapacity on the East Coast and intense price competition," Senior VP-Finance and CFO Stan Gadek said.

Austrian Airlines posts massive six-month loss 

Impacted by high fuel prices, overcapacity in the market and a weak load factor, Austrian Airlines Group reported a net loss of €79.1 million ($95.1 million) for the six months ended June 30, widened from a net loss of €41 million in the year-ago period.

Northwest warns of Chapter 11 filing if labor cost savings not achieved 

Northwest Airlines Corp. recorded a net loss of $225 million for the second quarter ended June 30, which included a net one-time gain of $54 million primarily related to the company's sale of shares of Prudential Financial.

This compares to a net loss of $182 million in the year-ago period, which included a $104 million charge to write down previously parked 747-200s and related inventory. Excluding unusual items, the company posted a net loss of $279 million in the quarter compared to a loss of $78 million in the 2004 period.

Gol again increases 737-800 order 

In order to facilitate further its expansion in Brazil and elsewhere in South America, Gol announced that it increased the size of its total order for 737-800s from 63 to 101.

The revised deal doubles the airline's firm orders to 60 and increases purchase options to 41. The aircraft included in the firm order are scheduled for delivery from 2006 to 2012 and the purchase options can be exercised between 2007 and 2012.

SkyWest sees second-quarter profits jump 

St. George, Utah-based Regional SkyWest reported net income of $24.8 million for the second quarter ended June 30, a 23.5% increase over net income of $20.1 million in the year-ago period.

Operating revenues rose 43.6% to $384 million, primarily as a result of a 44.5% increase in ASMs, while operating expenses climbed 46.2% to $339.4 million. This resulted in a 26.8% growth in operating income to $44.6 million from $35.2 million.

JetBlue Airways net profit slides in second quarter 

In what was its 18th consecutive quarter of profitability, JetBlue Airways reported net income of $12.2 million for the second quarter ended June 30, down 43.2% from net income of $21.5 million in the year-ago period.

America West net, operating profits rise in second quarter 

America West Holdings Corp., parent of the airline, reported net income of $13.9 million for the second quarter ended June 30, including a $2.7 million unrealized loss associated with fuel hedging transactions and a $4.3 million loss on the sale and leaseback of aircraft during the period.

This was a 30.5% increase over net income of $10.7 million in the prior-year period, which included an unrealized gain on fuel hedging transactions of $7.2 million. Excluding these special items, second-quarter 2005 net income was $20.9 million compared to $3.5 million in the 2004 quarter.

Delta cuts net loss in second quarter as Transformation Plan takes shape 

Delta Air Lines, which continues to be the subject of bankruptcy speculation, lost $382 million in the second quarter ended June 30, which included a net one-time charge of $78 million primarily associated with pensions.

This compares to a net loss of $1.96 billion in the year-ago period, which included a one-time charge of $1.7 billion. "Delta's second-quarter results reflect both the solid progress we are making in implementation of our Transformation Plan and the substantial challenges we are facing," CEO Gerald Grinstein said.

United gets thumbs up to increase DIP loan 
United Airlines received US Bankruptcy Court approval Friday of an amendment to its debtor-in-possession financing that includes upsizing its loan by $310 million to $1.3 billion and a reduction of the interest rate it pays under the loan. "We believe the amendment is beneficial to United and reflects our lenders' ongoing confidence in our ability to execute on our business plan," the carrier said in a recorded message to employees.
AC to enhance schedule with launch of new routes 

Air Canada unveiled plans to launch a number of new daily nonstop flights in Canada and the US this winter and boost service on several key domestic routes as well as others inside Canada and to the US.

TAAG Angola orders up to nine Boeing jets 

TAAG Angola Airlines reached a definitive agreement with Boeing for the purchase of two 777-200ERs and four 737-700 Quick Change aircraft.

The agreement also includes options for an additional 777-200ER and two more 737-700QCs. According to Boeing, the firm order is valued at roughly $649.6 million at list prices and approximately $990 million with options included.

The aircraft will be delivered next year, with the first 777-200ER and 737-700 scheduled to arrive in July. They will replace the current fleet of two 747-300s and five 737-200s.

ATA to eliminate another 450 positions with more outsourcing 

ATA Airlines, which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since October 2004, Friday announced plans to expand the outsourcing of its heavy maintenance program and to begin outsourcing its customer reservations call center in moves that will result in the loss of 450 jobs.

Since filing for Chapter 11, ATA has continued to shrink. Over the last two years its total workforce has dropped from 7,800 to 4,687, and since last year its fleet has been reduced from 67 to 45 aircraft.

High fuel costs force Delta to increase fare caps 

As a result of skyrocketing fuel prices, Delta Air Lines yesterday raised its top-level one-way caps in its SimpliFares program by $100 to $599 for economy class and $699 for first class, effective immediately.

According to media reports, United Airlines and Continental Airlines quickly matched the move, while Northwest Airlines and American Airlines were studying it.

Southwest profits continue to rise in difficult environment 

Despite the impact of high fuel prices and more competition, Southwest Airlines reported that earnings rose 40.7% to $159 million for the second quarter ended June 30 compared to earnings of $113 million in the prior-year quarter.

FedEx to open new Guangzhou hub, close Philippine center 

FedEx Express yesterday said it will build a $150 million Asia/Pacific hub at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport to replace its existing hub in Subic Bay, Philippines.

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