ATA Airlines, Inc., the principal subsidiary of ATA Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq:ATAH), today reported that March scheduled service traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), increased 18.3 percent on 24.8 percent more capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASMs) as compared with March 2002. Scheduled service March passenger load factor decreased 4.2 points to 76.5 percent, bringing the first quarter 2003 passenger load factor to 69.8 percent. ATA enplaned 913,039 scheduled service passengers in March and 2.38 million for the entire first quarter.
“Scheduled service traffic was impacted in March by the war in Iraq and the shift in Easter travel from March to April, following the later celebration of the holiday in 2003. This shortfall was partly offset by the fact that we performed over 600 flights in support of the U.S. Military—more than double last year`s activity,” said Dave Wing, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Military trips typically operate at a lower load factor than scheduled service flights, making system-wide load factor comparisons less meaningful. Military revenue is based upon miles flown—not traffic carried. In March, military flying accounted for 21 percent of ATA total capacity.
As of March 31, 2003, ATA has a fleet of 30 Boeing 737-800`s, 16 Boeing 757-200`s, 10 Boeing 757-300`s, and 10 Lockheed L1011`s. Chicago Express Airlines, Inc., the wholly owned commuter airline based at Chicago-Midway Airport, operates 17 SAAB-340B`s.
Ranked the No. 1 Medium-sized Airline in 2002 by Aviation Week magazine, ATA is the nation`s 10th largest airline. ATA operates significant scheduled service from Chicago-Midway, Indianapolis, St. Petersburg, Fla. and San Francisco to over 40 business and vacation destinations. Stock of the Company`s parent company, ATA Holdings Corp. is traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol “ATAH.” For more information about the Company, visit the website at www.ata.com.