ATA Holdings Reports Fourth Quarter Loss

INDIANAPOLIS—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Feb. 4, 2003—ATA Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq:ATAH), parent company of ATA (American Trans Air, Inc.), today reported a fourth quarter loss available to common shareholders of $57.6 million or $4.90 per common share (basic and diluted). This compares with a loss available to common shareholders of $81.3 million, or $7.05 per common share (basic and diluted) in the fourth quarter of 2001. ATA ended the fourth quarter with $200.2 million in unrestricted cash.

Total operating revenues for the fourth quarter of 2002 were $311.0 million, a 25.6 percent increase compared with the same quarter in 2001. Scheduled service revenues increased 34.9 percent to $222.1 million. Charter service revenues increased 5.0 percent to $70.5 million. Total operating expenses increased 1.1 percent to $362.1 million.

“Our financial results remain unacceptable,” said George Mikelsons, ATA Chairman and CEO. “Our performance has been impacted by multiple issues including the reduced demand for air travel, an out-of-balance Chicago market with weak pricing, aircraft deliveries that added to our capacity in a difficult environment, and higher than anyone expected fuel prices. While we are more than happy to close the books on 2002 and look forward, in the fourth quarter we did take some significant steps that set the groundwork for the Company`s recovery.”

“Shoring up ATA`s liquidity, we funded a federally-guaranteed loan in November that replaced the Company`s expiring bank revolver. We also worked with our banks to create a letter of credit facility. And, we closed the final part of a nine-aircraft EETC financing, as well as a single investor long-term tax lease on a Boeing 737-800.”

“We have set in motion a series of cost-savings initiatives that will produce lower unit costs for 2003. We will increase the utilization of our aircraft and our flight crews. We have adopted strategic sourcing to reduce the expense of purchased goods and services. And, we must recognize the significant contribution of our employees who have improved our productivity. We have fewer people on staff today than we did two years ago, even though our capacity has grown 19 percent.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“At the same time, we are educating the public about what it means to be `An Honestly Different Airline.` Our team is thoroughly reviewing all aspects of the flying experience, from the point of making a reservation to the passenger exiting the jetway. We`re focusing on making our airline customer-centered, and reducing the `hassle factor`. With new planes, all-new gates at our convenient Chicago-Midway hub, rapid check-in technology, and our renewed commitment to focus on customers` needs, we have significantly improved the product our customer is now receiving.”

System-wide revenue passenger miles (RPMs) increased 25.2 percent to 2.99 billion, and available seat miles (ASMs) increased 26.2 percent to 4.55 billion compared with 2001. Total revenue per available seat mile (RASM) was 6.84 cents in the fourth quarter of 2002, down 0.4 percent compared with 2001. Mainline cost per available seat mile (CASM) was 7.35 cents. CASM excluding special items noted in the table on page one was 6.83 cents, a decrease of 2.3 percent.

For ATA`s scheduled service, RPMs increased 29.7 percent to 2.47 billion, ASMs increased 36.3 percent to 3.66 billion, and passenger load factor decreased 3.4 points to 67.4 percent compared with 2001. Scheduled service yield grew 4.0 percent to 9.00 cents and RASM decreased 1.0 percent to 6.06 cents.

For ATA`s charter service, ASMs decreased 3.4 percent to 885.3 million; and block hours flown increased 12.5 percent to 8,453 compared with 2001. Charter RASM increased 8.7 percent to 7.97 cents.

The Company`s unit fuel costs declined 4.0 percent in the fourth quarter with our more fuel-efficient fleet compared with the same period last year even as fuel prices increased 5.6 percent.

For the twelve months of 2002, total operating revenues increased 0.1 percent to $1.28 billion compared with 2001. Scheduled service revenues increased 8.0 percent to $886.6 million and charter service revenues decreased 14.0 percent to $309.2 million. Total operating expenses increased 5.1 percent to $1.44 billion.

The Company had a loss available to common shareholders of $175.0 million, or $14.94 per common share (basic and diluted), compared with a loss available to common shareholders of $81.9 million, or $7.14 per common share (basic and diluted) in the year prior.

Compared with 2001, system-wide RPMs increased 6.1 percent to 12.38 billion, and ASMs increased 8.7 percent to 17.60 billion for the twelve months of 2002. For ATA Holdings Corp., total RASM decreased 7.9 percent to 7.26 cents. Mainline CASM was 7.58 cents. CASM excluding special items noted in the table on page one was 7.07 cents, a decrease of 3.2 percent.

For ATA`s scheduled service, RPMs increased 14.0 percent to 9.91 billion, ASMs increased 18.9 percent to 13.61 billion, and passenger load factor decreased 3.2 points to 72.8 percent. Scheduled service yield declined 5.3 percent to 8.94 cents and RASM decreased 9.2 percent to 6.51 cents. For ATA`s charter service, ASMs decreased 16.0 percent to 3.98 billion; and block hours decreased 6.2 percent to 38,134. Charter RASM increased 2.2 percent to 7.77 cents.

Summary of Recent Events:— Obtained a $168 million loan with a $148.5 loan guarantee from the Air Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB). 
— Launched new “Straight Talk” advertising campaign with the tagline, “ATA - An Honestly Different Airline,” which reinforces our commitment to customer-friendly travel policies. 
— Announced new nonstop service from San Francisco to Cancun, Indianapolis, and St. Petersburg and from St. Petersburg to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Announced increased frequencies from Indianapolis to Las Vegas, Ft. Myers, and Ft. Lauderdale and from Chicago-Midway to Denver, Charlotte, and Minneapolis. 
— Finished 2002 as number one airline in passenger boardings in Indianapolis and Chicago-Midway. 
— System-wide ATA boarded 10 million passengers in 2002—a Company record. 
— ATA Connection announced the fifth daily flight from Lexington, KY to Chicago-Midway. 
— Achieved a milestone of 100,000 customers registered on ata.com for travel rewards program. 
— Enhanced ata.com so that customers who book flights on line can make hotel reservations via ATA`s website. 
— Completed the two-stage pre-funded $260 million enhanced equipment trust that financed nine new Boeing 737-800 aircraft delivered in 2002. 

——-