(Corrects dateline to April 26)
April 26 U.S. carrier Alaska Air Group Inc
on Wednesday reported a 46.2 percent fall in quarterly
profit as its operating expenses swelled and average fares
Net income fell to $99 million, or 79 cents per share, in
the first quarter ended March 31, from $184 million, or $1.46
per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the company earned
$1.05 cents per share, outperforming the analyst consensus
estimate of $1.01, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Alaska Air in December of last year acquired rival carrier
Virgin America Inc in a $2.6 billion deal, making the
Seattle-based company the fifth largest U.S. airline by
passenger traffic. The first quarter totals reflect
Virgin America results, as well.
Passenger unit revenue, which compares sales to how many
seats an airline flies and how far it flies them, fell 4.9
Total operating revenue rose 29.8 percent to $1.75 billion,
short of the analyst consensus estimate of $ 1.76 billion.
(Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru and Alana Wise in
New York; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Chizu Nomiyama)