Alaska Air Group on Thursday reported the best quarterly profit in its history.
The SeaTac-based airline holding company that owns Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air reported third-quarter income excluding special items of $150.3 million, or 2.09 a share. That compares with income of $131.1 million, or $1.79 a share in last year’s third quarter.
Those profits beat Wall Street forecasts by a penny per share.
“Our pretax profit margin was one of the best in the industry, and it was made possible by the great service our people provide, low fares and strong demand. We recognize this is a difficult industry, but we’re committed to working together to sustain this high level of performance in the quarters and years ahead,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska Air Group chairman.
The third quarter, traditionally the best for Alaska, which sees substantial tourist traffic to its namesake state in the summer, saw operating revenues rise by 6.2 percent in the three months ending Sept. 30. Meanwhile, the company’s total operating expenses fell by 4.9 percent. The two airlines’ planes operated fuller than in the same quarter of 2011 despite a 6.8 percent increase in capacity.
The airline holding company recently announced a plan to share some of its good fortune with shareholders through a $250-million share repurchase program.John Gillie: 253-597-8663 email@example.com