Aloha's losses widen
The airline posted a net loss of $8.5 million in the fourth quarter as fuel costs jumped
Aloha Airlines, whose losses have continued to mount since emerging from bankruptcy in February 2006, posted a net loss of $8.5 million in the fourth quarter as fuel costs jumped 17 percent and revenue declined amid an interisland fare war.
The privately held carrier, which last week announced that United Airlines would take a minority equity stake under a new partnership between the airlines, ended 2006 with a net loss of $41.6 million, according to preliminary data released yesterday by the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Aloha, which lost $18.4 million in 2005, has had a net loss in each of the last 13 quarters through the fourth quarter of last year. Its first-quarter results for 2007 won't be released by the BTS until next month.
Publicly traded Hawaiian Airlines announced in February a net loss of $9.5 million in the fourth quarter and a net loss of $40.5 million for the year.
"Results for the fourth-quarter and full year reflect challenges posed by the continuing high cost of fuel and a decline in average interisland fares," Aloha spokesman Stu Glauberman said.
David Banmiller, president and chief executive of Aloha, also declined to comment.
Aloha's noncash deal with United expands the airlines' existing code-share agreement -- a common industry arrangement under which seats on the same flights are sold by both carriers -- to include all Aloha and United nonstop flights between Hawaii and the mainland as well as Hawaii and Japan. The airlines also will explore joint purchasing and facilities agreements.
Aloha, which operates 21 aircraft, including 13 on its interisland routes, posted revenue in the fourth quarter of $94.7 million, down 4.7 percent from $99.3 million in the year-earlier quarter when it had a net loss of $1 million.
Operating expenses increased 9 percent to $101.7 million from $93.6 million. Fuel costs rose to $24.5 million from $20.9 million. Aloha's operating income swung to a loss of $7 million from an operating gain of $5.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2005.
For the year, Aloha's revenue fell 8 percent to $395.3 million from $428.8 million in 2005. The airline had an operating loss of $25.5 million compared with an operating gain of $7.2 million in 2005. Operating expenses, however, eased 0.2 percent to $420.8 million from $421.5 million despite fuel costs rising 9 percent to $102.8 million from $93.9 million.