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Republic Airways profit leaps

August 7, 2008

Second-quarter net profit soared 49.3 percent for Republic Airways Inc., the Indianapolis-based carrier said late yesterday.

Republic's $28.4 million in profit was bolstered by a one-time gain of $6 million resulting from an interest-rate swap. Without the swap, Republic still turned a profit of $22.4 million, up nearly 18 percent from the same quarter last year.

The addition of several new planes in the latest quarter contributed to operating revenue rising 22.3 percent to $387 million.

Republic piled up the favorable numbers despite a turbulent quarter.

Republic, which flies under contract for large carriers, experienced continued pressure to eliminate small planes from its fleet in order to gain fuel economies, and one customer, Denver-based Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc., sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Republic operates as Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America.

Republic shares, which closed yesterday at $9.29, are beginning to recover from a plunge that began in March. The stock dived to $7.29 from nearly $22 as the airline industry suffered from rising fuel prices.

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