Last year's soaring fuel prices and economic recession have had devastating consequences for the airline industry. Both U.S. Airways Group and Continental Airlines posted quarterly losses on
U.S. Airways reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $541 million, or $4.74 per share, compared with a loss of $79 million, or 87 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items totaling $321 million, the company reported a loss of $220 million, or $1.93 per share. The airline said its quarterly net loss increased as it wrote down lost value of its fuel hedges. U.S. Airways also said its revenue fell 0.6 percent to $2.76 billion.
Continental Airlines lost money on fuel-hedging contracts as well, but other losses resulted from pension payments made to pilots taking early retirement due to a decreased flight schedule.
Continental said its fourth-quarter net loss widened to $266 million, or $2.33 per share, from $32 million, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier. Not including one-time items, the airline reported a loss of 84 cents per share.