Republic posts bigger profit despite 12,400 flight cancellations

Republic Airways Holdings Inc.’s profit soared in the first quarter despite a significant drag on financial results due to weather-related flight cancellations.

The Indianapolis-based airline company on Thursday reported $14 million in profit in the quarter ended March 31, up from $300,000 in the same period of 2013. Last year’s first-quarter results were hurt by $11.1 in losses from discontinued operations at Frontier Airlines, which Republic sold late last year.

Republic stock rose 9.5 percent Thursday morning after the earnings report, to $9.10 per share.

Republic said it canceled more than 12,400 flights during the first quarter, primarily because of severe winter weather in January and February. It was a 145-percent increase in cancellations from the first quarter of 2013 and reduced financial results by about $7 million, Republic said.

"I am pleased we were able to report improved first quarter financial results despite the most severe weather events in a single quarter I can recall in my 27 years of experience in the airline industry,” Republic CEO Bryan Bedford said in a prepared statement.

Operating revenue increased nearly 4 percent in the quarter, to $337.5 million. Expenses rose 9.3 percent, to $303.3 million.

Passenger traffic for the first quarter increased 11.9 percent, to 2.6 billion revenue passenger miles, on a 6.3-percent rise in capacity.

Republic owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America.
 

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: IBJ is now using a new comment system. Your Disqus account will no longer work on the IBJ site. Instead, you can leave a comment on stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Past comments are not currently showing up on stories, but they will be added in the coming weeks. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.