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US Airways Reports Q4 Loss Widens to $261 Million

Expects Operating Profit In 2006... Minus Merger Costs

What price solvency? US Airways Group -- which left Chapter 11 bankruptcy after merging with America West Airlines last September -- has found an answer to that question: $261 million.

The amount is US Airways' net loss for the fourth quarter of 2005, which is when the carrier began absorbing the costs of merging with America West and transferring its operations to America West's offices in Tempe, AZ. The high cost of fuel had an impact, as well.

The loss is also substantially greater than the $69 million US Airways lost in the same quarter of 2004. Which begs something of a philosophical question: which is better, losing nearly $70 million under bankruptcy, or losing $261 million after emerging from it?

It's no contest, says US Airways CEO Doug Parker... especially as the carrier is looking forward to returning to profitability, of sorts, in 2006.

"Excluding one-time merger-related costs, the new US Airways will be profitable in 2006," said Parker in a statement Tuesday.

FMI: www.usairways.com

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