US Airways operating profit jumps to $428m in Q3

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US Airways reports an operating profit of $428 million during the third quarter, a nearly 60% increase from a year earlier.

Operating revenues rose 9.1% to $3.86 billion and operating expenses increased 5% to $3.43 billion during the period.

Net profit fell 11.9% to $216 million on a GAAP basis.

“These outstanding results are occurring as our teams continue intensive integration planning work in preparation for our merger with American Airlines,” says Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive of Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways, in a statement.

Merger related special items totalled $40 million during the third quarter.

US Airways and American are fighting a US Department of Justice (DOJ) challenge to their proposed merger in a trial that begins in US district court on 25 November, with a decision expected by 10 January 2014.

Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 5.1% to 14.32 cents while costs per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel and special items rose 2.3% to 9.2 cents.

US Airways paid an average of $3.01 per gallon for fuel during the third quarter.

Traffic was up 4.7% on a 4.1% increase in capacity, driving a 0.6 percentage point increase in load factor to 85.5%.