profits dive 77%
Higher revenues couldn't overcomeBy Russ Lynch
an increase in fuel costs and
a landing-fees reinstatement
Higher fuel costs and a reinstatement of landing fees at Hawaii airports cut third-quarter profits by 77 percent at Aloha Airlines.
The local carrier reported a net income of $344,623, down from $1.5 million in the third quarter of 1998.
Aloha said the price per gallon of aviation fuel had risen 28 percent and in the last month of the quarter the airline once again was paying landing fees, after a two-year waiver granted all airlines by Gov. Ben Cayetano.
Before the waiver, the airline was paying more than $5 million a year in landing fees to the state.
"Aloha Airlines' revenues increased in the third quarter as all sectors of our business -- passenger, cargo and contract services -- were up," said spokeswoman Stephanie Ackerman. "Unfortunately our net profits were impacted by expenses beyond out control."
Aloha reported revenues of $59.9 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30, up 3.3 percent from $58 million a year earlier.
Operating expenses were up 7 percent at $59.5 million in the latest quarter, from $55.6 million in the year-earlier period.
For the first nine months of this year, Aloha had a profit of $2.5 million on revenues of $173.8 million, down from $5.3 million on revenues of $175.4 million in the 1998 nine months.
Aloha Airlines is the major subsidiary of locally owned Aloha Airgroup Inc. As a private company, the airline does not issue regular public financial reports. However, it does file its profit and loss numbers with the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington.
That report does not include the results of Aloha Airgroup's other subsidiary, Island Air, which serves Hawaii's smaller airports with nonjet aircraft.
Aloha was solely an interisland carrier for 53 years and last year carried more than 5 million passengers. In August, Aloha started weekly service to Majuro in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and now it is preparing to launch its first mainland-Hawaii service.
Using long-range Boeing 737 aircraft, it will start daily Oakland-Honolulu service Feb. 14 and daily Oakland-Maui two weeks later.