Republic posts first Q1 profit in four years

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Republic Airways finished the first quarter in the black for the first time in four years, as it continues an internal restructuring.

The regional airline and parent of Frontier Airlines posted a slim profit of $300,000, but that was better than a $7 million loss during the same period a year ago.

"Our results reflect the continued improvement in the business and the substantial efforts of my coworkers and our senior leadership team," says Bryan Bedford, Republic's chairman and chief executive.

Bedford's team has focused on reducing costs at Frontier and regional subsidiary Chautauqua Airlines over the past year.

The company's expenses, meanwhile, dropped 10.3% year-on-year to $606 million, with most of the decline accounted for by a 31.4% drop in aircraft fuel expenses. Operating revenues declined by 8.9% over the same period to $636 million.

Republic's retail passenger operations suffered the biggest drop of business, as revenues declined 23% to $288 million. That decline more than offset a 9.4% increase in revenue by the fixed-fee operation.

Total cash balance on 31 March improved to $429 million, or $34.2 million higher than on 31 December.