TribLIVE

| Business

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

US Airways 4Q profit doubles

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 6:52 p.m.
 

US Airways' net income doubled in the fourth quarter and executives said the strong demand the airline is seeing is often a precursor to higher fares.

Fuller planes made the difference in the last three months as revenue set a record.

Airlines successfully raised fares five times last year but have struggled to do so lately. Two attempts led by United this month failed after other airlines didn't match the increases. For US Airways, one measure of fares, called yield, declined very slightly in the fourth quarter.

The good fortune for travelers may not last.

US Airways President Scott Kirby said that full planes and improved demand historically lead to fare increases. There were fewer empty seats in the final quarter of 2012 — occupancy rose 2 percentage points to 83.9 percent. January bookings are up 8 percent from a year ago, Kirby said.

“While it's taking some time, I expect that this strong environment will lead to improving yields across the industry,” Kirby said on a conference call with analysts.

Even without higher fares, having more passengers boosted profits. Revenue for each seat flown one mile — a key performance indicator for airlines — rose 2.2 percent. US Airways' net income for the quarter was $37 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with $18 million, or 11 cents per share a year ago. Excluding special items, net income was 26 cents per share, 7 cents higher than analyst forecasts, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 3.9 percent to $3.28 billon, a record for the quarter. For the full year, net income jumped to $637 million, or $3.28 per share — the largest profit in the airline's history, the company said.

CEO Doug Parker said US Airways shares rose 166 percent last year, more than any other Fortune 500 company.

US Airways is in merger talks with American Airlines. But it wouldn't discuss the topic on Wednesday, citing a non-disclosure agreement.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Cost-cutting at Kraft Heinz extends to refrigerator
  2. Kennametal expects to consolidate plants as it shrinks manufacturing in continuing streamlining; profit drops
  3. Muni bond funds stressed
  4. Range Resources cuts workforce 11%
  5. GNC to convert more stores to franchises as sales, profits slip
  6. Economy’s 2Q best since last year
  7. Home rental prices jumped again in June
  8. U.S. asks Supreme Court to reinstate convictions of portfolio managers who won on appeal
  9. Post-Gazette offers voluntary buyouts in bid to avoid layoffs
  10. Chronic job-seekers giving up the hunt
  11. Urban rentals pit old vs. young