Regional airline SkyWest swings to 1Q profit

SkyWest, flight operator for bigger airline, posts 1Q profit despite drop in revenue

Associated Press

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- SkyWest Inc., which operates regional flights for larger airlines, earned $3.2 million in the first quarter, reversing a year-ago loss despite a 13 percent drop in revenue.

SkyWest was hurt by lower reimbursement rates for jet fuel and 1,900 canceled flights that the airline blamed on bad weather. Those factors more than offset a slight increase in flying hours and caused the revenue slump.

SkyWest shares fell 42 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $14.83 in morning trading.

Net income was 6 cents per share, compared with a loss of $682,000, or a penny per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $803.5 million from $921.2 million a year ago.

Analysts expected SkyWest to lose a penny per share on revenue of $824.2 million, according to FactSet.

Traffic rose 4.4 percent but revenue for every mile passengers flew dropped 17 percent.

Labor, the airline's biggest cost, rose to $297.4 million from $290.8 million a year earlier.

SkyWest has about 750 planes and operates SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines and flights under the United Express, Delta Connection, American Eagle and US Airways Express brands.

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