Air Transport World

America West Airlines.(US Majors)

The turnaround that began in March 2002 when America West decided to price itself as a low-fare airline continued in 2003 (ATW,, 6/04, p. 34). The ninth-largest US Major in terms of revenues managed an annual operating profit of $33 million excluding one-time gains--its first since 2000--while net loss excluding special items was $10.1 million, reduced from $206 million in 2002. Equally significant, AWA reported breakeven results for the first quarter of 2004, earning $600,000 excluding special items and marking its fourth consecutive quarterly profit. It expects to be in the black for the full year as well. The carrier also enjoyed record traffic growth.

AWA's ability to adopt an LCC fare structure is possible owing to its ultra-low unit costs, which are below even Southwest Airlines' on a non-stage-length-adjusted basis. …

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