US Airways Posts $1.63 Billion Profit

US Airways posted a first-quarter profit of $1.63 billion, resulting mostly from a gain associated with the company's emergence from bankruptcy.

In the year-earlier quarter, the Arlington, Va.-based carrier had lost $269 million, or $3.97 a share.

Excluding accounting adjustments from the company's Chapter 11 reorganization, US Airways had a pretax operating loss of $282 million, compared with a loss of $435 million in the year-ago quarter.

"The war with Iraq and the concomitant effect on fuel costs, weak economic conditions and travel demand clearly overshadowed the successful completion of our restructuring efforts, as demonstrated by these results," said David N. Siegel, chief executive.

Revenue was $1.5 billion, down from $1.7 billion last year. The company said its mainline operations carried 9.4 million passengers, down 20.3% compared with the 2002 period.

"While major combat operations in Iraq are now effectively over, we continue to see its lingering impact on the industry, and we anticipate a lengthy recovery of demand. Our summer schedule has been set, and our pilot bids have been extended through July, so we will not disrupt the summer travel season and our chances for recovery," Siegel said. He also said that this month, the company expects to announce orders for regional jets, which will replace the airline's turboprop fleet.

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