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US Airways’ says Sandy’s toll was $35 million off its profits for October and November

Nov 27, 2012 1:00 am

Skift Take

US Airways still had among the smallest Sandy effect of big three, as Delta and United reported bigger profit cuts for October and haven’t reported November yet.

— Rafat Ali

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US Airways Group Inc. said on Monday that Superstorm Sandy hurt profits by $35 million as travelers stayed home and it was forced to cancel flights.

Airlines scrubbed some 20,000 flights to or from the Northeast in late October and early November, and shut down operations at New York’s big three airports. Philadelphia’s airport, where US Airways operates one of its main hubs, was also affected.

The airline said the storm hurt October revenue by $30 million, and cut $15 million from October profits. It estimated that November’s profit will be hurt by about $20 million because of the storm.

US Airways said total bookings fell 13 percent for Oct. 24 through Nov. 3 compared with the same period in 2011. And tickets booked within 13 days of departure — often an airline’s most lucrative — dropped 21 percent.

The dropoff in travel demand hurt per-seat revenue by 2 percent, the airline said. As a result, per-seat revenue for November will be flat, it said.

The airline said bookings have returned to normal levels.

US Airways shares rose 42 cents, or 3.4 percent, to close at $12.92 before the storm impact was announced.

Delta Air Lines Inc. has said the storm hurt October revenue by $45 million and profit by $20 million. United Continental Holdings Inc. said the storm cut $90 million from October revenue, and $35 million from its profit that month. Neither has said how much damage the storm did to their bottom lines in November.

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