Hawaiian Airlines exceeded analyst’ estimates in the first quarter and posted a profit of $23.5 million. A 44.9 percent year-over-year decline in fuel prices more than offset weaker demand for Hawaii vacations.
“Our first-quarter financial performance was good in absolute terms and notably better than that of most of our competitors,” Hawaiian President and Chief Executive Mark Dunkerley said.
Dunkerley said future short-term bookings remain “robust” although the fares are lower than the first quarter fares and below those of last year. He said that while bookings are now being made closer to the travel date, the strong first-quarter results “provide a good foundation upon which to build as we approach the summer travel season.”
Hawaiian’s first-quarter revenue increased to $288.6 million from $251.2 million a year earlier, largely due to the expansion of the company’s interisland operation in the second quarter of 2008 following the shutdown of Aloha and ATA airlines. Hawaiian also phased in four Boeing 717 aircraft to its fleet beginning in August 2008.