Hawaiian Airlines A330. Courtesy, Airbus

Hawaiian Holdings, parent of Hawaiian Airlines (HA), reported fourth-quarter net income of $20.9 million, down 70% from a $70.6 million profit in the year-ago period.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 26.2% to $434 million while expenses increased 24.3% to $399.5 million, producing an operating profit of $34.5 million, up 54% from $22.4 million in the prior-year quarter.

CEO Mark Dunkerley said that “good cost control and fare increases enabled us to offset the 35% increase in the price of fuel. It is particularly noteworthy that these results were posted during a period in which our operations grew rapidly.”

Total scheduled traffic for the quarter rose 14.5% to 2.6 billion RPMs on a 16.7% increase in capacity to 3.09 billion ASMs, producing a load factor of 84.1%, down 1.6 point. Yield lifted 11.9% to 14.96 cents and CASM rose 6.5% to 12.87 cents. CASM ex-fuel decreased 1.3% year-over-year to 8.60 cents.

For the full year 2011, Hawaiian reported a net loss of $2.6 million, reversed from a $110.3 million net profit in 2010. On an adjusted basis, reflecting fuel expenses and the non-recurring lease termination charges of $70 million related to the purchase of 15 Boeing 717-200 aircraft previously under lease, the company said its 2011 net income was $43.2 million, down 4.8% compared to a $45.4 million net profit on a similar basis in 2010. Annual revenue rose 26% to $1.65 billion while operating expenses rose 33.8% to $1.63 billion. Operating profit declined 78% to $20.3 million from $91.3 million.

In November 2011, HA amended its agreement with Airbus to purchase an additional five A330-200 aircraft for delivery between 2013 and 2015. The carrier now has firm aircraft orders for 16 A330-200s for delivery between 2012 and 2015 and six A350XWB-800s for delivery beginning in 2017 (ATW Daily News, Nov. 18, 2011).

Dunkerley said that 2012 “will be a year in which our long-haul fleet transition to the Airbus A330 continues while we inaugurate new service to a number of new destinations at home and abroad.”