Alaksa Air gains as revenues rise after Virgin America buyout

What is now the fifth-largest carrier in the United States reports a surge in operating revenues although passenger unit revenue fell slightly.

Alaska Airlines planes line-up at the terminal at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Elaine Thompson / AP
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Alaska Air, which became the fifth-largest US carrier after completing its us$2.6 billion acquisition of Virgin America in December, has reported a 10.7 per cent rise in quarterly revenue as it flew more passengers.

Alaska Air said passenger unit revenue, which compares sales to how many seats an airline flies and how far it flies them, fell about 1 per cent in the fourth quarter ended December 31.

Alaska Air agreed to buy Virgin America, paying $57 per share. Including debt and aircraft leases, the transaction is worth about $4bn.

The combined airline now has 1,200 daily departures, 280 aircraft, and hubs in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Anchorage, Alaska, and Portland, Oregon.

The company’s net income fell to $114 million, or 92 cents per share, in the quarter from $191m, or $1.51 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Alaska Air earned $1.56 per share in the quarter, compared with $1.46 per share a year earlier.

Total operating revenue rose to $1.52 billion from $1.38bn.

* Agencies

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