Alaska Air nearly triples profit, orders 15 planes

Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NEW YORK — Alaska Air Group, which operates Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit nearly tripled as traffic improved and it added routes. The company also said it will take delivery of an additional 15 Boeing 737s and will retire the Horizon name to fly all its planes under one banner.

Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

The company reported net income of $64.8 million, or $1.75 per share, in the last three months of last year, compared with $24.1 million, or 67 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 13.3 percent to $958.5 million from $846.1 million a year ago.

For all of 2010, the company earned $251.1 million, or $6.83 per share, compared with 2009 earnings of $121.6 million, or $3.36 per share.

Alaska said its retirement of the Horizon Air follows changes to its business to align more closely with the rest of the regional airline industry. Alaska is now responsible for scheduling, marketing and pricing all flights, just like many other major carriers do for their regional airlines.

As part of the brand change, Horizon’s fleet will be repainted with a new paint scheme prominently featuring “Alaska” across the fuselage and the Eskimo on the tail. The plane will continue to include the Horizon logo on the sides of the aircraft, which will now appear in Alaska’s dark blue color.

Travelers will begin to see changes to airport signs, advertising and planes starting next month. Horizon expects to unveil its the first plane with its new look in February as well.

The 13 737-900 extended range aircraft and 2 737-800 aircraft will be delivered between 2012 and 2014. The order has a value of $1.28 billion at list prices, although discounts are common.

The companies shares rose 5 cents to $60.81 in afternoon trading.

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