Hawaiian Airlines 3Q net income jumps 78 percent

HONOLULU -- Hawaiian Airlines on Tuesday said its consolidated adjusted net income jumped 78 percent in the third quarter to $45.5 million as the company continued expanding flights to Asia and the U.S. mainland.

But the Honolulu-based airline's passenger revenue per available seat mile _ which measures how much money the airline makes flying one passenger a single mile _ fell 6 percent to 12.30 cents as competitors began increasing flights on a number of its key routes.

Hawaiian Airlines said its operating revenue climbed more than 20 percent while it expanded capacity by 28 percent compared to the July-September quarter of last year.

The growth came during a quarter when Hawaiian began flying nonstop from Honolulu to Seoul, South Korea on a daily basis instead of four times a week. It also increased the frequency of its flights from Maui to San Jose and Oakland, Calif.

The airline's earnings also continued to reflect the effects of new nonstop service from Honolulu to New York City and Fukuoka, Japan, both of which started earlier this year.

"We are pleased to report improving margins while we are growing so quickly," CEO Mark Dunkerley said in a statement. "Our strategy of diversifying our revenue base through growth is demonstrating its value as we have seen some enormous variation in market performance across our network of late."

Dunkerley said demand for Hawaiian vacations remains strong in North America and Asia.

The airline plans to continue growing in coming months, adding a nonstop flight to Sapporo, Japan in November and direct service to Auckland, New Zealand in March.

The company said financial hedging pushed fuel costs _ as measured by economic fuel expense _ down to $3.07 per gallon from $3.22 per gallon in the third quarter last year.