Alaska Airlines has reported its first quarter results for 2023, highlighting an operating loss of U.S. $142 million. This was lower than 2022’s performance. However, it is still well higher than initially targeted for the first quarter.
Alaska Airlines says that they returned to pre-pandemic flying levels in the first quarter and are on track with their roadmap to profitable growth.
The carrier noted that in the first quarter, it received six new 737-9s to boost operations and bring its total fleet count for the 737-9 to 43. Additionally, they announced satellite Wi-Fi for their E175 regional jets, improving regional flying for customers. Meanwhile, they also announced various routes, such as San Diego to Washington to D.C. and Tampa to Eugene, all beginning later in 2023.
Alaska Airlines reported a loss for many reasons, but notably, the increasing costs to operate hurt them harder in the first quarter than expected. For example, Alaska cites wages and such alongside fuel. Meanwhile, there were also increases in cancellations which negatively impacted the business.
The airline also said there was an increase in capacity from Q4 2022 to Q1 2023 thanks to an upgrade in aircraft and a 14% increase in overall utilisation. Therefore, load factors rose as well which was a positive for the airline.
For the remainder of 2023, Alaska Airlines forecasts better performance and increases across the board. Additionally, it’ll make changes to its fleet, which includes the complete removal of its Airbus fleet.