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US Airways Cuts Its Losses

The carrier said its loss dropped despite winter storms, and a current quarter profit is likely.
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TEMPE, Ariz. (


) --

US Airways


cut its first quarter loss as the economy recovered, leading to higher ticket prices.

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Excluding items, the carrier said it lost $89 million, or 55 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated a loss of 71 cents. Revenue rose 8% to $2.7 billion. Analysts had estimated $2.6 billion.

In the same quarter a year earlier, excluding items, US Airways lost $260 million or $2.28 a share. Including items, the loss was $45 million or 28 cents a share, compared with a loss of $103 million or 90 cents a share in the first quarter of 2009.

"Our rate of improvement continues to outpace the industry and, on an absolute basis, our pre-tax margin (excluding special items) is among the best of the major network carriers," said CEO Doug Parker, in a prepared statement. "The rate of improvement would have been even more pronounced except for extreme winter storms along the East Coast during the quarter, which impacted US Airways more than many of our competitors." Storms reduced revenue by $30 million.

During the quarter, total revenue per available seat mile rose 11.1%. and passenger revenue per available seat mile rose 9.5%. On the cost side, mainline cost per available seat mile excluding fuel and special items rose 2.9% on a 2.4% capacity decline. Parker said the carrier anticipates a profitable second quarter.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.