DALLAS – Alaska Air Group have announced their first quarter (Q1) 2023 results. The group, made up of Alaska Airlines (AS) and Horizon Air (QX), reported a net loss of US$142m for the first three months to the end of March. This compared to a net loss of US$143m for the same period last year.
Unit costs were up by 27%, year on year, to some US$2.4bn. This was impacted by an increase in fuel costs and a recently implemented labor deal. However, the group said that it expects these figures to improve during the second half of the year.
During the period, the group increased capacity to its pre-pandemic levels, up by 14% year on year. The airline said this was ‘driven by improved aircraft utilisation and up gauging, which will continue to drive efficient growth throughout 2023.’
Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels
Alaska CEO Ben Minicucci commented, “This quarter, we returned to pre-pandemic levels of flying, and our roadmap to profitable growth is on track.
“As we progress through the year, we have taken deliberate steps to build momentum and we are well prepared for peak summer flying. Thank you to our 23,000 employees who are the backbone of our success – I’m proud of their work to deliver operational excellence and show care for the people who fly with us each day. We are well-positioned to deliver on our full-year financial targets, including a 9% to 12% adjusted pretax margin.”
Despite the disappointing results, the group said its balance sheet “remains strong,” with US$2.4bn in ‘unrestricted cash and marketable securities.’
Fleet and Network Expansion
During this period, AS received a further six of its Boeing 737-9 airframes, swelling the number of the type to 43. The airline now has a fleet of 219 airframes, including the 737-700, -800, -900, -900ER and -9. It also holds orders for the 737-8 and -10. AS also operates ten Airbus A321neos following its Virgin America (VX) takeover. These are set to be retired by the end of the year.
It also announced new routes from San Diego (SAN), Washington D.C. (IAD), Tampa (TPA) and Eugene (EUG).
Featured Image: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-9 (N979AK). Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways.