Aloha posts net loss
of $7.2 million

Aloha Airlines' best three-month financial period in its 58-year history has now been followed by back-to-back quarterly losses.

The privately held carrier posted a net loss of $7.2 million in the first three months of the year, according to its latest filing with the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Glenn Zander, president and chief executive of Aloha, attributed the shortfall to a significant increase in employee benefit costs and, to a lesser degree, rising fuel costs.

Art The results were an improvement over Aloha's $12.9 million loss of a year ago, but represented a continued downward trend from the third quarter of 2003 when Aloha had a record $11.3 million gain. Aloha lost $3.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

In the first quarter, revenue jumped 21.1 percent to $106 million from $87.5 million a year earlier.

"We're gratified by our revenue growth in the quarter, reflecting strong demand for travel to Hawaii," Zander said.

But expenses climbed 13.5 percent to $112 million from $98.7 million, with fuel costs rising 10.7 percent to $16.6 million from $15 million.

The airline halved its first-quarter operating loss from a year ago to $5.6 million from a loss of $11.2 million. By comparison, rival Hawaiian Airlines, which has been in Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy for 15 months, has posted 13 consecutive months of operating profits. Hawaii had a record operating profit of $17.4 million in the first quarter.

Aloha Airlines' results do not include financial information from parent company Aloha Airgroup Inc. or its former subsidiary, Island Air, which was sold last month to San Francisco-based Gavarnie Holding LLC.


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