Air Transport World

Empire shows strong profit picture for '84.

Utica--Some airline executives say starting and managing a commuter level airline is like running a marathon. There are prescribed turns right and left, hills to climb and descend, identified obstacles and a sequence of mile posts or goals to meet. There are surprises, some unexpected windfals of opportunity and sometimes formidable barriers to overcome.

In line with this comparison, Paul H. Quackenbush, president of Empire Airlines, adds "You must know the route, set the rifht pace--not too fast and not too slow--be ready to spring when necessary, horde your resources, and, above all, make all check points enroute to the final objective--profitability."

Quackenbush, who founded Empire nearly ten years ago, told ATW during a recent interview: "We have run the course and realized our major goals. There have been profitable periods during the past three years but, this year, Empire has reached a point of sustained earnings capability--our bottom line."

He emphasized, "The secret of this success has not been obvious, but our lean and resourceful employes have done it. No job has been too tough and no job to small for them.

"We have had some disappointments but also some very fortunate breaks. Our growth program is ahead of schedule. Thanks to a resurging market and economy, Empire has been able to take advantage of unexpected opportunities." Profit posture

Quackenbush cited many factors he considers important to the continued growth of the airlines. First and foremost was this year's first six months profit performance, after provisions for taxes, of $882,306 on sales of $34.2 million. This delivered a per share earning of 32^ compared to 4^ for the same period in 1983. The '84 half-year system yield was 31. …

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