Shane Nelson
Shane Nelson

InsightHawaiian Airlines posted a net income of $7.3 million during the first quarter this year, a substantial jump from the $855,000 in net income the carrier reported during the same three-month period in 2011.

An earnings report released late last month by the airline’s parent company, Hawaiian Holdings, said the Aloha State’s largest carrier generated $435.5 million in total first quarter operating revenue, a year-over-year surge of 19.1%, or nearly $70 million.

“We are pleased to report a profit during a seasonally weak period when the business was nonetheless growing rapidly,” Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Despite higher fuel costs, demand for our long-haul services has stayed strong.”

Hawaiian said that although its fuel cost rose 28.3%, to $140.9 million, in the first quarter, the company managed a net gain of $5.8 million thanks to its fuel-hedging efforts. After adjusting for economic fuel expense, the airline’s net income was $3.3 million for the three months ending March 31, a big improvement over the adjusted net loss of $3.2 million it suffered during the first quarter of 2011.

With its first nonstop daily flights to New York’s Kennedy Airport set to begin next month, and three more Airbus A330s scheduled for delivery in the second quarter, Hawaiian officials announced plans last week to increase the company’s nonstop service between Honolulu and Las Vegas from three to five flights a week beginning Aug. 21, an expansion the airline announced just three weeks after low-cost carrier Allegiant Air unveiled its plan to debut thrice-weekly, nonstop service between Honolulu and Las Vegas June 29.

Hawaiian also announced that strong demand has led it to extend seasonal, nonstop service three times a week between Maui and Los Angeles.

Previously scheduled to operate from June 21 through Aug. 19, the service will now be extended through Oct. 31, adding 8,000 seats to the Valley Isle this year.
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