Republic Airways profit hits turbulence

Rising expenses from adding new aircraft put a drag on third-quarter profit at Republic Airways Holdings, which fell 8 percent from the same time last year, to $20.2 million.

Earnings per share fell slightly to 49 cents, from 50 cents for the same quarter last year, the Indianapolis-based carrier reported yesterday.

The operator of regional jets for six large U.S. carriers cited a 25-percent rise in expenses, excluding reimbursable fuel costs, from the same time in 2006. They included increased pilot training and other expenses, as the carrier put into service several Canadair jets for Continental Airlines and switched to some larger Embraer aircraft.

Until recently virtually all of Republic’s fleet has consisted of Brazilian-built Embraer jets, including new 86-seat E175s.

Third-quarter operating revenue rose 8 percent to $330.1 million.

The low-profile Republic is the parent of Chautauqua Airlines and Shuttle America, which fly under the flags of major carriers that also include Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.

Republic operates 211 regional jets and has about 4,500 employees.

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