Alaska Air Group reduces debt by $200m in 2011

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Alaska Air Group reduced its long-term debt to $1.1 billion in 2011 from $1.3 billion at the end of 2010.

The Group lowered adjusted debt-to-total capitalization ratio by 5 points since the end of 2010 to 62%.

It held $1.1 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of 31 December 2011, down from $1.2 billion at the end of 2010.

Capital expenditures totalled $382 million last year and consisted of $188 million related to three Boeing 737-800 deliveries financed in cash and another $120 million related to Horizon Air's Bombardier seven Q400 fleet. Another $64 million capital expenditures was not aircraft-related.

At 31 December 2011, Alaska Air operated 30 737-400 passenger and freighter aircraft, 17 737-700s, 58 737-800s and 12 737-900ERs. Its Horizon subsidiary released 13 CRJ700s during the year and ended the year with a 48 Q400 fleet.

In 2012, the Group plans to take three 737-800s and three 737-900ERs from Boeing and has budgeted $340 million in capital expenditures.

The Group completed its $50 million share repurchase programme with cash on hand earlier this month. Alaska Air Group announced the 900,000 stock buyback programme last June and since 2007, it has used $262 million to repurchase 8.4 million shares of its common stock.