• ITVI.USA
    15,839.740
    -5.440
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.799
    -0.007
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.070
    0.480
    2.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,836.590
    -10.170
    -0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.950
    -0.570
    -16.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.610
    0.650
    22%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.240
    -14.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.550
    0.210
    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.320
    0.220
    10.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.110
    0.250
    6.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,839.740
    -5.440
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.799
    -0.007
    -0.2%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.070
    0.480
    2.2%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,836.590
    -10.170
    -0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.950
    -0.570
    -16.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.610
    0.650
    22%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.240
    -14.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.550
    0.210
    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.320
    0.220
    10.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.110
    0.250
    6.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    0.000
    0%
Air CargoCompany earningsNews

Alaska Air soars in Q3

Even cargo revenue is up, while peers go in opposite direction

Correction: The story has been updated with correct figures for cargo revenue. The original story said cargo revenue increased 9% to $60 million, but that line item covers cargo and other revenue, such as from ancillary fees and terminal lounges.

Alaska Air Group [NYSE: ALK] has caught an updraft after initial turbulence digesting its 2016 acquisition of Virgin America, reporting third-quarter adjusted pre-tax profit margin of 18% – 3 percentage points higher than the same period a year ago.

The strong performance was driven by 8% growth in operating revenue to almost $2.4 billion, outpacing a 3% rise in expenses.

Alaska Air, which includes its mainline subsidiary and regional carrier Horizon Air, so far is the only domestic passenger airline to have growth in cargo revenue this year in a down year for airfreight overall. For the third quarter, cargo revenue increased 3% to $37 million. Alaska’s cargo business, however, is less than a fifth that of bigger competitors United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.

Group net income was $326 million, up 37.5%, excluding modest merger-related charges and fuel hedging expenses, with earnings per share of $2.63 beating consensus estimates of $2.52.

The Seattle-based airline generated $1.4 billion in operating cash flow for the nine-month period.

Mainline revenue per available seat mile grew 4.5% to 12.83 cents, and load factors crept up to 86.2%.

Eric Kulisch, Air Cargo Editor

Eric is the Air Cargo Market Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at ekulisch@freightwaves.com

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