Virgin America Posts $52 Million 3Q Net Profit

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Virgin America reported a $51.8 million net profit for the 2016 third quarter, down 27.9% from a $71.9 million net profit in 3Q 2015.

During the quarter, the San Francisco-based carrier reportedly incurred $1.6 million in legal and professional costs related to the merger agreement with Seattle-based Alaska Air Group. Virgin America’s stockholders approved the merger July 26; the transaction is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter, though Alaska Air Group remains in discussion with the US Justice Department over gaining antitrust clearance for the acquisition of Virgin America.

Virgin America’s third-quarter operating revenue was $858.7 million, up 7.6% year-over-year (YOY); total operating expenses for the quarter were $728.7 million, up 7.8%. Operating profit for the quarter was $129.9 million, up 6.7%.

Virgin America’s passenger traffic was up 21.4% YOY to 3.3 billion RPMs on 16.7% YOY capacity growth to 3.9 billion ASMs, producing a load factor of 85.9%, up 3.4 points YOY. The airline carried 2.2 million passengers during the quarter, up 17.6% YOY.

The airline’s third-quarter operating margin was 20.4%, up 2.4 points YOY. Yield declined 10.9% YOY to 11.92 cents, a result of the “reduced domestic industry fare environment,” the company said. PRASM was down 7.3% YOY to 10.24 cents. CASM decreased 9.8% YOY to 9.17 cents, primarily a result of decreased fuel costs. Fuel expenses decreased 11.5% YOY to $76.6 million.

The airline’s fleet as of Sept. 30 comprised 63 Airbus A320-family aircraft, compared to 55 aircraft a year ago. The carrier serves 24 airports in the US and Mexico.