Western Australian regional carrier Skywest Airlines has posted a net profit of S$7.1 million ($5 million) in its fiscal first half-year, marking a turnaround from the losses it reported a year ago.

It reports a net profit of S$7.1 million for the six months ended 31 December 2009, compared with a net loss of S$2.8 million in the corresponding period in 2008.

Revenue rose 10% to S$107 million from a year ago, says Skywest.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and aircraft rentals rose 108% to S$28.8 million, it adds.

Skywest will continue to explore new routes to expand its airline business, says executive chairman Jeff Chatfield.

For example, the carrier has reinstated the Melbourne-Kalgoorlie route from 5 February, he adds.

"The group continues to recognise the growth potential for Western Australia, particularly in light of recent announcements of a significant number of significant resource developments," says Chatfield.

Skywest will continue to target the resources sector, which flies workers on a regular scheduled basis into and out of the mining areas, he adds.

"The airline is well placed to capture more business in this area and at this time, it is tendering for various charter contracts and has deployed an additional aircraft, which may be utilised in due course for the purpose of operating additional charter services," says Chatfield.

Skywest has added one Fokker 100 and one Fokker 50 to its fleet during the half-year ended 31 December 2009, taking its fleet size to 17 aircraft, he adds.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news