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Airtran Airways posts Record Net Quarterly Earnings

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ORLANDO, Fla., July 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AirTran Holdings, Inc., (NYSE: AAI - News), the parent company of AirTran Airways, Inc., today reported net income of $78.4 million or $0.56 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2009. This represents a $93.3 million improvement over the same quarter of 2008, reversing a net loss of $14.8 million or $0.14 per diluted share.
Operating income during the second quarter was $66.2 million. Year-to-date, the Company has achieved record operating income of $113.9 million, resulting in an operating margin of 9.9 percent, AirTran's best first half performance since 2001. Load factors were at all time highs of 80.7 percent for the quarter and 78.6 percent year-to-date.
Included in net income for the second quarter were $31 million of unrealized gains on the Company's future fuel hedge portfolio, $3.3 million of gains on extinguishment of debt, net of tax, and a $2.4 million write-off of capitalized interest on the disposition of aircraft. Excluding these items, the economic net income for the second quarter of 2009 was $46.6 million or $0.34 per diluted share.
"We are proud of the continued extraordinary performance of our 8,500 dedicated Crew Members from coast to coast, and we are delighted to report significantly improved financial results as reflected by our strong quarterly net income," said Bob Fornaro, AirTran Airways' chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We remain committed to providing low fares and a superior product that our loyal passengers value."
During the second quarter, AirTran Airways continued to add service from its principal operating locations of Atlanta, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Orlando as well as initiating new service to Allentown, Pa., Asheville, N.C., Atlantic City, N.J., Branson, Mo., Charleston, W.Va., and Knoxville, Tenn. Specifically, the Company increased capacity in Milwaukee by over 30 percent as compared to last year and is now the second largest airline serving Milwaukee and its surrounding communities, including Northern Illinois.
"We are extremely pleased with our customers' response to AirTran's expanded network services and particularly to our growth in Milwaukee," said Kevin Healy, senior vice president of marketing and planning for AirTran Airways. "It is clear that our industry-leading combination of low fares and high-quality amenities, such as new Boeing jets, Business Class, and Inflight Wi-Fi on every flight, is highly valued by our customers across our network."
AirTran Airways was among the first airlines to react to the changing economic environment in 2008 through a series of proactive initiatives, which included reducing and reallocating capacity, enhancing liquidity, selling and deferring aircraft, and unwinding fuel hedges. "Our year-to-date results continue to reflect the rewards of the many difficult decisions we made as a Company last year," said Arne Haak, senior vice president of finance, treasurer and chief financial officer for AirTran Airways. "The combination of reduced capacity, lower fuel prices, and the lowest cost structure of any major airline allows us to compete effectively in what remains a challenging and uncertain economy."
you guys sure are making the bosses rich...
and they are complaining about the pilots dragging their feet?? Guess on-time is down? Just like them at the table I guess.?

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