Alaska Air Group, the parent of Alaska Airlines and regional carrier Horizon Air, said Thursday its first-quarter loss widened to $35.9 million, compared with a...
Alaska Air Group, the parent of Alaska Airlines and regional carrier Horizon Air, said Thursday its first-quarter loss widened to $35.9 million, compared with a year-earlier deficit of $10.3 million, as jet fuel soared to a record.
In one response, Alaska said it will raise certain fees to match big rivals, like Delta.
In late May, Alaska will start charging some customers $25 to check a second piece of luggage and will double the fee for overweight bags to $50. Bringing a pet on the plane will cost $100 each way, from $75 previously.
The cost of booking through reservations and airport sales agents will rise from $10 to $15. The unaccompanied-minor fee will increase from $30 to $75 for one-way nonstop flights and from $60 to $75 for connecting flights.
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First-class and top-tier mileage-plan members and customers on flights within the state of Alaska will be exempt from the increases.
“Rising fuel and service costs without equivalent fare increases have forced us to make these changes,” Gregg Saretsky, executive vice president of flight and marketing at Alaska, said in a statement.
The company also said it plans to eliminate an unspecified number of jobs, mostly through attrition as Horizon transitions from three aircraft types to a single fleet of 76-seat Bombardier Q400s turboprops.
Alaska saw a first-quarter net loss of 97 cents a share versus 26 cents in last year’s first quarter. That beat analysts’ estimates. Sales rose 11 percent to $839.5 million.
“Although Alaska Air Group is in a good position relative to the rest of the industry, high fuel prices are eroding our profits, and revenues are not increasing fast enough to offset them,” Chief Executive Bill Ayer said in a statement.
Alaska Air and larger competitors such as AMR’s American Airlines struggled last quarter as jet-fuel prices rose an average 63 percent.
Alaska is working to attract more business travelers in cities along the West Coast because they are more willing to pay higher ticket prices.
The per-share loss was narrower than the $1.01 average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Alaska shares rose $1.26 to $19.45.