US Airways Group Reports Loss Of $269 Million For Full Year 2000

US Airways Group, Inc. reported today that it had a net loss of $269 million, or $4.02 per diluted common share, for the full year 2000.

For the fourth quarter of 2000, the company reported a net loss of $101 million, or $1.50 per diluted common share.


“US Airways employees continue to do a terrific job in providing superior service to our customers. However, high fuel prices and expanding low-cost and network carrier competition have combined to produce disappointing financial results for the company,” US Airways President and CEO Rakesh Gangwal said.


US Airways Chairman Stephen M. Wolf said that the company remains focused both on operational performance and the proposed merger with United Airlines.


“This merger will have a very positive impact not only on the job prospects of US Airways’ 45,000 employees but also on service and competition throughout US Airways’ service area. The economic impact of the truly national and international network that will result from our merger with United bodes well for both the traveling public and the communities we serve,” Wolf said.

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For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2000, US Airways Group had operating revenues of $9.3 billion, an increase of 7.8 percent over 1999. Operating expenses increased 10.2 percent to $9.3 billion, primarily as a result of increased fuel costs. The operating loss for the year was $53 million, and compares to operating income for 1999 of $136 million. The loss for the year of $166 million (excluding the previously reported cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle) compares to a profit of $197 million in 1999. The loss per diluted common share of $2.47 compares to a profit of $2.64 in 1999.


Total revenue passenger miles for the full year 2000 were up 12.4 percent while total available seat miles increased 11.7 percent. This resulted in a passenger load factor increase for the year of 0.4 percentage points to 70.3 percent. Passenger revenue per available seat mile decreased 4.4 percent while cost per available seat mile fell 2.1 percent. The break-even load factor increased 3.7 percentage points to 73.3 percent. The cost of aviation fuel per gallon was 95.81 cents, an increase of 63.4 percent.


For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2000, US Airways Group had operating revenues of $2.4 billion, an increase of 10.4 percent over 1999, while operating expenses rose 8.3 percent to $2.4 billion, primarily as a result of increased fuel costs. There was an operating loss for the quarter of $88 million, as compared to a loss of $121 million in the fourth quarter of 1999. The net loss for the quarter of $101 million compares to a net loss of $81 million in the fourth quarter of 1999. Net loss per diluted common share of $1.50 compares to a net loss per diluted common share in 1999 of $1.16.


Total revenue passenger miles for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2000 were up 16.3 percent, while total available seat miles increased 13.2 percent. The passenger load factor for the quarter was 69.3 percent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points over 1999. Passenger revenue per available seat mile decreased 3.6 percent while cost per available seat mile decreased 2.9 percent. The break-even load factor increased 2.8 percentage points to 74.2 percent. The cost of aviation fuel per gallon was $1.09, an increase of 47.2 percent over 1999.


The fourth quarter results include an $18 million pretax impairment loss related to warrants the company holds in Priceline.com. Full year 2000 results also include a $103 million, net of tax, cumulative effect of accounting change. Excluding the Priceline.com loss, diluted loss per share before the cumulative effect of accounting change was $2.30 for 2000 compared to last year’s diluted earnings per share excluding nonrecurring and unusual items of $0.50. Excluding these items, operating loss was $53 million compared to an operating income of $181 million in 1999, and loss before the cumulative effect of accounting change for 2000 was $154 million versus income of $37 million for 1999.


Excluding the Priceline.com impairment loss, diluted loss per share for the fourth quarter of 2000 was $1.33 compared to last year’s diluted loss per share excluding nonrecurring and unusual items of $0.68. Excluding these items, fourth quarter operating loss was $88 million compared to an operating loss of $60 million in 1999. Adjusted for these items, net loss was $89 million versus $47 million for the prior year quarter.


Reporters needing additional information should contact US Airways Corporate Communications at (703) 872-5100.


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