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Combined Airline Posts Loss

November 10, 2005|From Bloomberg News

US Airways Group Inc. and America West Holdings Corp., which combined in September to form a low-fare carrier, reported third-quarter losses Wednesday as fuel costs climbed. Revenue exceeded analysts' expectations.

The pre-merger US Airways had a loss of $80 million, excluding a $664-million gain tied to its bankruptcy reorganization, in the 88 days before the transaction closed Sept. 27.

The former America West lost $71 million. US Airways exited bankruptcy protection the same day as the merger, and the combined company, based in Tempe, Ariz., kept the US Airways Group name.

America West and US Airways merged in a quarter when jet-fuel prices hit an all-time high, boosting airlines' operating costs and erasing the impact of fare increases.

"We are facing high fuel prices, but we are very encouraged by our revenue performance," Chief Executive W. Douglas Parker said.

The combined carrier reported a third-quarter loss of $87 million, or $5.04 a share. The quarter included 88 days of America West results and four days of a consolidated US Airways and America West, the company said.

The losses of the pre-merger US Airways weren't included in the consolidated numbers.

Consolidated sales rose 36% to $926 million, beating the estimates of analysts.

The company's shares jumped $1.87, or 6.4%, to $31.30..

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