Republic reports a sharp tumble in 3Q profits

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(corrects branded results)

Republic Airways Holdings saw its third quarter net income slide 80% for third quarter from $17 million to $3.3 million.

The company during the quarter marked significant milestones including closing on purchases of Frontier and Midwest Airlines, and forming a Hawaiian inter-island joint venture with former rival in the region Mesa. Republic took a majority stake in inter-island carrier Mokulele earlier this year, and through the JV deal has cancelled $3.1 million in outstanding debt Mokuele owed to Republic, net of surrendered aircraft deposits. Mesa now holds 75% of the joint venture and former Mokulele shareholders hold 25%.

Additionally, Republic has supplied financial results for and Midwest operations. Total revenues during the quarter were $74 million on a total revenue per available seat mile of 12.8 cents for Republic's two branded operations. Republic's branded operations combined posted a pre-tax loss of $16 million on unit costs excluding fuel of 10.6 cents.

Overall Republic's operating revenues decreased 7% to $360 million as the drop in operating expenses was barely noticeable, falling from $325 million to $323 million. Operating income, however, still dropped 39% from $60 million to $37 million.

Republic ended the quarter with $149 million in cash at the end of the third quarter, with $63 million of that amount restricted. At the end of 2008 Republic's cash balances stood at $131 million.