Alaska cash climbs again in Q1

Washington DC
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Alaska Air Group saw its cash balances rise 6.8% to $1.42 billion during the first quarter, almost reversing the drop they took in the fourth quarter.

Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities were up 11.8% from $1.27 billion at the end of March 2013.

Long-term debt net current maturities fell 4.4% to $721 million in the quarter. Debt was down 14.2% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Seattle-based Alaska is evaluating options for new secured debt backed by some of its Boeing 737-900ERs, treasurer Mark Eliasen told Flightglobal in March. Options include bank debt, a capital markets issue or a private placement, with a deal likely in the second half.

The airline is also looking at export credit financing from Export Development Canada (EDC) for three Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s that it recently took delivery of at its Horizon Air subsidiary.

Alaska bought four 737-900ERs with cash for a total aircraft-related capital expenditure of $93 million in the first quarter. It also spent $8 million on aircraft cabin improvements.

Debt payments totalled $37 million during the quarter.