SkyWest, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines) (St. George, Utah) today reported financial and operating results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2014. Highlights are as follows:
SkyWest’s net income was $41.3 million (inclusive of $15.3 million after-tax related to TRIP gain from below), or $0.79 per diluted share, for the quarter ended September 30, 2014. This compares to net income of $26.4 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, for the same period last year.
Significant financial items related to the third quarter included:
Operating income, which excludes TRIP gain, increased $2.9 million from the same period last year, despite the negative financial impact of FAR117 flight and duty rules implemented January 2014
The completion of the Trip Linhas Aereas S.A. stock sale resulted in a pre-tax gain of $24.9 million and interest income of $2.1 million
Operating revenues, after excluding a reduction in direct contract reimbursement for pass-through cost expenses, increased 1.9% compared to the prior period, despite a 6.0% reduction in departures and 3.8% reduction in block hours from the prior period
Significant operational and commercial items include:
16 ERJ145s were removed from contract during the third quarter of 2014. SkyWest anticipates 18 ERJ145s will be removed during the fourth quarter of 2014, and 23 ERJ145s and 9 ERJ135s will be removed during the first half of 2015.
As of September 30, 2014, SkyWest had 14 E175 jet aircraft in the United Airlines contract and took delivery of one additional E175 in October 2014. SkyWest expects delivery of six additional E175 aircraft by December 31, 2014 and the remaining 19 additional aircraft by August 2015.
ExpressJet appointed Alexandria Marren as its COO effective October 1, 2014
Operational reliability at ExpressJet improved to 99.4% adjusted completion for the September 30, 2014 quarter from 99.0% from the same period last year
SkyWest invested approximately $35.7 million for E175 specific spare parts, engines and tooling as of September 30, 2014. SkyWest also invested $56.0 million into E175 ownership equity as of September 30, 2014.
Commenting on the results, Jerry C. Atkin, SkyWest’s Chairman and CEO said, “The increase in operating income from last year is positive news when factoring the significant cost impact of FAR117 we’ve experienced in 2014 and the reduction in departures and block hours since last year.” He continued, “As we pursue opportunities to remove our older 50-seat aircraft from service and add new larger dual-class aircraft, we are optimistic that our operational reliability and financial results will continue to improve. We remain committed to our major partners and our process to improve both financial and operating performance.”
Total operating revenues, excluding the significant direct contract reimburses for fuel, landing fees, station rents, and engine maintenance, increased by $12.7 million during the quarter ended September 30, 2014 from the same period last year. The improvement was primarily due to certain contract renewals and modifications, operating additional E175 aircraft, and increased government subsidies for operating certain routes.
Flight crew costs and related crew hotels expenses associated with FAR117 and training costs for the introduction of the new E175 aircraft, that resulted in an increase of $13.8 million in operating costs compared to the quarter ended September 30, 2013.
Direct maintenance expense, excluding engine maintenance expense, decreased $12.2 million during the quarter ended September 30, 2014 compared to the same period last year due to a reduction in scheduled events and removal of older aircraft after June 30, 2013. Certain other operating expenses, primarily related to the E175 aircraft and pro-rate operations, increased during the three months ended September 30, 2014 compared to the same period last year.
At September 30, 2014, SkyWest had $555.7 million in cash and marketable securities, compared to $467.0 million as of June 30, 2014 and $670.1 million as of December 31, 2013. Cash and marketable securities decreased $114.4 million from December 31, 2013 to September 30, 2014, primarily due to SkyWest’s investment of approximately $91.7 million in E175 assets and E175 equity investment in the debt financing and timing of semi-annual aircraft lease payments resulting in an increase of prepaid aircraft rents of $20.3 million. The cash and marketable securities balance increased from June 30, 2014 primarily due to pre-tax income generated during the quarter.
Long-term debt increased $130.8 million from December 31, 2013 to September 30, 2014. During this period, $323.7 million of long-term debt was used for the 14 E175 aircraft delivered in 2014, offset by principal payments made on outstanding debt.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. As the Embraer ERJ 135 and ERJ 145 fleet shrinks at ExpressJet, SkyWest Airlines had 14 Embraer ERJ 175 jet aircraft in the United Airlines contract at the end of September and took delivery of one additional ERJ 175 this month. SkyWest expects delivery of six additional E175 aircraft by December 31, 2014 and the remaining 19 additional aircraft by August 2015. Embarrass ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N118SY (msn 17000420) taxies at the San Francisco hub.