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US Airways loss widens

Old 04-29-2005, 07:30 AM
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Business First of Buffalo - 9:45 AM EDT Friday

Losses widen for US Airways

Jeff Clabaugh
Washington Business Journal

US Airways, in merger discussions with America West Airlines, reported wider losses for its latest quarter, blaming both competition and skyrocketing fuel prices.

The air carrier had a first-quarter net loss of $191 million, compared with a net loss of $177 million in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue fell 4.3 percent to $1.6 billion. The airline says its fuel costs were up 48.1 percent from what it was paying a year ago.

"We continue to operate under extremely challenging conditions, most notably high fuel prices and aggressive pricing actions by our competitors," says US Airways President and CEO Bruce Lakefield in a statement. "The cost reductions and operational efficiencies we have implemented have minimized the impact of the fuel and revenue environment, but we find ourselves in the same situation as most of the industry, where fuel costs cannot be fully recovered through traffic growth and incremental fare increases."

US Airways (OTC BB: USAIRQ) has said it still expects to emerge from bankruptcy protection in June. The company has secured financing agreements with both Air Wisconsin and Republic Airways.

While the airline confirmed merger talks with America West, it has said there is no guarantee the talks will lead to anything, and it will have no further comment on the discussions until a decision is made.

2005 American City Business Journals Inc.
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