US Airways reported today that revenue passenger miles for September 2001 were down 33.4 percent compared to September 2000, while available seat miles for the month decreased 20.6 percent. The passenger load factor for the month was 56.1 percent, a decrease of 10.8 percentage points compared to September 2000.
US Airways’ September traffic results were affected dramatically by the events of Sept. 11. Commercial flights throughout the country were suspended almost completely for three days and resumed gradually once the Federal Aviation Administration allowed resumption of operations. While there has been a significant increase in the number of passengers booking on US Airways in recent days, the total remains well below trends that had been established earlier in the year. In response, US Airways has reduced its operations and is implementing a schedule that will reflect a reduction of 23 percent in capacity.
From Sept. 1 to Sept. 10, US Airways’ load factor was 65.4 percent. From Sept. 14, when flight operations resumed, through Sept. 22, the load factor was 45.9 percent and that increased during the period Sept. 23 through Sept. 30 to 52.8 percent. That upward trend is continuing.
The same trend is reflected in terms of the numbers of passengers carried. On Sept. 14, the first day that flight schedules began to return to a more normal pattern, US Airways carried 51,753 passengers. Beginning Sept. 27, US Airways has carried in excess of 100,000 passengers on most days and forward bookings indicate that trend is continuing. The return to operations at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport, albeit on a limited basis, should support this trend.
In response to these developments, US Airways has taken a number of steps to reduce and control costs. As a result of the necessary reduction of capacity by 23 percent, US Airways is sadly reducing its workforce by over 11,000 and is retiring three fleet types - the B-737-200, the F-100 and the MD-80. Four reservations centers have been closed as have more than 40 city ticket offices. Maintenance operations are being further rationalized to result in greater efficiencies.
As of Sept. 30, 2001, US Airways Group had just over $1.0 billion in cash on hand. In addition, US Airways Group anticipates receiving a further grant in October of approximately $180 million from the U.S. government under the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act to compensate for losses resulting from the terrorist actions of Sept. 11.
For the third quarter of 2001, revenue passenger miles were down 5.4 percent compared to the same period in 2000, while available seat miles were down 2.9 percent year-over-year. The passenger load factor for the period was 71.1 percent, a decrease of 1.8 percentage points compared to 2000.
Year-to-date revenue passenger miles were up 6.3 percent, compared to the same period in 2000, while available seat miles were up 6.8 percent year-over-year. The passenger load factor for the nine-month period was 70.4 percent, a decrease of 0.3 percentage points compared to 2000.
The four wholly owned subsidiaries of US Airways Group, Inc.—Allegheny Airlines, Inc.; Piedmont Airlines, Inc.; Potomac Air; and PSA Airlines, Inc.—reported that revenue passenger miles for September were down 35.1 percent compared to September 2000, while available seat miles for the month were down 16.9 percent. The passenger load factor for the month was 42.7 percent, a decrease of 12.0 percentage points compared to September 2000.
For the second quarter of 2001, US Airways Express revenue passenger miles were down 9.9 percent compared to the same period in 2000, while available seat miles were down 4.0 percent. The passenger load factor for the period was 54.0 percent, a decrease of 3.5 percentage points from 2000.
Year-to-date, US Airways Express revenue passenger miles were down 4.3 percent compared to the same period in 2000, while available seat miles were down 2.1 percent. The passenger load factor for the nine-month period was 55.2 percent, a decrease of 1.3 percentage points from 2000.
Certain of the information discussed above or enclosed herewith should be considered “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995. A number of risks and uncertainties exist, which could cause the actual results to differ materially from the results projected in such forward-looking statements. Additional information concerning the factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements, was contained in a Form 8-K filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. US Airways assumes no obligation to update such estimates to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting such estimates.