US Airways anticipates Q4 profit

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US Airways executives anticipate a fourth quarter profit, fresh off one of the best quarterly results in the company's history.

Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive of US Airways, says that the airline expects to report a profit in the fourth quarter based on the forward fuel price curve, during an earnings call today.

The Tempe-based Star Alliance carrier anticipates that will pay on average between $3.18 and $3.23 per gallon for fuel in the fourth quarter, according to an investor update today. Consolidated average fuel costs were $3.07 per gallon during the third quarter, which was down 2.5% year-on-year.

US Airways reported a net profit excluding special items of $192 million during the third quarter, which is more than double that of a year ago.

With special items the airline reported a net profit of $245 million in the quarter. This includes a $69 million gain from its slot swap with Delta Air Lines.

Operating revenue was up 2.8% to $3.5 billion and operating expenses were up 0.3% to $3.3 billion during the period compared to 2011.

US Airways expects capacity to increase by 2% for the full year versus a year earlier, with domestic capacity up 1% and international capacity up 2%. This is due to a higher completion factor and the replacement of Boeing 737-300 and -400s with larger Airbus A321s, according to the update.