Air Transport World

US Nationals. (ATW's World Airline Report).(Statistical Data Included)

AirTran: Heading for another strong growth year with a 17% capacity increase in August over the same month in 2000 and loads holding well, AirTran reduced service 20% when it relaunched operations after Sept. 11. However, by mid-November its full pattern was back in place, allowing it to boast gains of 11.6% in ASKs and 9.5% in RPKs for the year (ATW, 6/02, p.40).

A fourth-quarter net loss of $12.9 million dragged the year's profits down to $21.7 million and nonrecurring items then turned that figure into a net loss of $2.8 million. AirTran adjusted its employee pay downward during the recovery period but restored those cuts before November.

Early this year the airline accelerated its fleet modernization by agreeing to accept 20 717s financed by Boeing Capital during 2002 and announcing the retirement of 14 DC-9s. Based on these moves, ASMs will grow more than 20% this year. The fleet, which comprised 32 717s and 30 DC-9-30s in early 2002, will number 50 717s and 16 DC-9s by year end.

AirTran says it is in a strong financial position and has good labor relations. Its customer service, ramp and reservation agents rejected union representation for a second time in January and it reached agreement on a five-year contract with its mechanics prior to contract expiration and obtained a new four-year pilot agreement within four months of the contract's amendable date.

The carrier's route network makes good use of its Atlanta hub--44% of all passengers are connecting. For the current year it sees lots of opportunities in major East Coast north-south routes, especially in the absence of low-cost competition from US Airways and reduced pricing pressure from Delta Air Lines. It expected to be profitable starting in the second quarter and for the rest of 2002.

Air Wisconsin: The United Express carrier made news when the Canadian government assisted it in financing an order for 73 CRJs plus 75 options, thereby heating up the WTO dispute between Canada and Brazil over aiding their respective RJ manufacturers.

Air Wisconsin had a good year in 2001 despite the impact of Sept. 11. Passenger boardings grew 2.8%, RPKs rose 4.6%, load factor Improved 2.5 points to 65% and revenues jumped 11.6% to $409 million, producing an operating profit of $10.5 million, down slightly from 2000, and a net of $18.1 million, up from $11.05 million, according to DOT.

Aloha: Ending an already dramatic year with the announcement that it would merge with longtime rival Hawaiian Airlines, Aloha saw those plans dashed this spring when Hawaiian refused to continue the deal. The merger would have combined the two airlines plus Aloha's Islandair Regional subsidiary under Aloha Holdings, a new company that would have been headed by Greg Brenneman, former president and COO of Continental Airlines, Hawaiian said the merger died because its board did not believe the deal could be completed by an April 18 deadline. That was disputed by Aloha President and CEO Glenn Zander, who said HAL proposed changing the terms of the merger to cut Brenneman out entirely.

Earlier in the year Aloha accepted its fifth 737-700 for use in services between Hawaii and the US West Coast and the central Pacific. …

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