Sharing Our Success


Highlighting ALPA pilots’ commitment to flying for successful companies, the following is “good news” from our pilots’ airlines.

Alaska Air Announces $230 Million Second-Quarter Earnings

On July 23, Alaska Air Group announced $230 million in quarterly earnings excluding special items, or $1.76 per diluted share, according to the company that includes Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

Besides being the largest profit ever for the airline, the performance represented the 25th consecutive quarter of profitability.

“We are thriving,” CEO Brad Tilden told analysts. “Our operation is firing on all cylinders.”

The earnings represented a 46 percent increase over April, May, and June a year earlier.

Based on the results, the company gave employees $58 million in incentive pay and paid a 20-cent-per-share dividend on June 4. The company also bought back 2.5 million shares of common stock for $160 million during the quarter.

“Our people are delivering on our promise of a safe, reliable, on-time operation,” Tilden said.

Delta Air Lines Announces June Quarter Profit

On July 15, Delta reported financial results for the June 2015 quarter, including

  • Adjusted pre-tax income of $1.6 billion, an increase of $202 million year over year on a similar basis.
  • Returned $1.0 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

“Delta’s record results have allowed the company to improve the experience for our customers through new aircraft and innovative partnerships with global carriers and uniquely deliver value for our shareholders by accelerating our capital returns while also paying down debt,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s CEO. “We have more work and opportunity ahead of us on all of these fronts as we continue to execute on our long-term plan.”

JetBlue’s Revenue Grows on Strong Demand

JetBlue Airways Corp. bucked the recent industry trend of weak revenue performance with improved sales and fuller airplanes because of “solid demand across our network,” the airline’s chief executive said.

JetBlue said its second-quarter revenue grew nearly 8 percent to $1.6 billion from a year prior and its unit revenue increased 1.4 percent.

Overall, JetBlue reported profit of $152 million—in line with analyst estimates—or 44 cents a share.

JetBlue said it expects to end the year near the high end of its previous guidance of 7 percent to 9 percent capacity growth for 2015. The airline also slightly reduced its guidance for unit costs—how much it spends to fly a seat a mile—which it expects to increase up to 1.5 percent this year.

United Announces Highest-Ever Quarterly Profit

On July 23, United Airlines reported

  • Second-quarter 2015 net income of $1.3 billion, excluding $67 million of special items. These results are a record quarterly profit for the company.
  • In the quarter, United prepaid approximately $800 million of debt, contributed approximately $620 million to its pension plans, and returned approximately $250 million to shareholders.
  • United earned an 18.2 percent return on invested capital for the 12 months ended June 30, 2015.

“This quarter’s record results reflect the progress we’re making on our long-term plan, and I’d like to thank the United team for their great work,” said Jeff Smisek, United’s chairman, president, and CEO. “We will continue to invest in our customers, assets, and our people, and remain committed to improving our balance sheet, expanding our margins, and improving our return on invested capital.”

Virgin America Reports Second-Quarter 2015 Earnings

On July 30, Virgin America reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2015, including

  • Second quarter 2015 net income of $64.4 million excluding special items, an increase of $27.5 million from the second quarter of 2014. Operating income and operating margin excluding special items were $67.1 million and 16.7 percent, respectively.

The company recorded its highest quarterly net income ever, with net income increasing 75 percent year over year.

“The progress we have made on financial performance over the past two years is remarkable. Our guests love the outstanding product and service that our teammates provide, and it shows in our financial results,” said David Cush, Virgin America’s president and CEO.

This article is from the September 2015 issue of Air Line Pilot magazine, the Official Journal of the Air Line Pilots Association, International—a monthly publication for all ALPA members.