Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. Reports 1997 First Quarter Results -- Cites Weaker Tourism In Hawaii

HONOLULU, March 8, 1997 -- Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. (ASE and PSE: HA) today announced 1997 first quarter financial results that reflect weaker tourism demand for Hawaii during the first two months of the year, a continuation of the downturn in Hawaii tourism which began in the fourth quarter of 1996. The company posted an operating loss of $4.5 million and a net loss of $2.4 million for the quarter ended March 31, 1997, as compared to the company's 1996 first quarter operating profit of $396,000 and net loss of $582,000.

Despite the weakened tourism, Hawaiian Airlines operating revenues increased 6.1 percent during the 1997 first quarter to $99.7 million, as compared to $94.0 million during the same quarter in 1996. Operating revenues were boosted by increases in charter passenger activity, as well as improved systemwide average yield.

Operating expenses increased 11.3 percent to $104.2 million, as compared to $93.6 million for the same period last year. The increased operating expenses were in large part the result of an 11.0 percent increase in charter and scheduled flight operations and a 20.0 percent increase in the per-gallon price of jet fuel compared to the 1996 first quarter. The increase in fuel price added approximately $2.9 million to the company's 1997 first quarter operating expenses.

Paul J. Casey, Hawaiian Airlines president and chief executive officer, while acknowledging that the first quarter is traditionally a low season for leisure travel, said that Hawaii's visitor industry experienced unusually weak travel demand during the first quarter of 1997. "Our results are a reflection of poor market conditions felt throughout the visitor industry in Hawaii during the first two months of the year. However, stronger traffic in March made it a profitable month for Hawaiian Airlines, and our preliminary traffic figures for April indicate a continuation of this positive trend," he said.

Casey added, " We are actively working with the State of Hawaii through its Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau to increase tourism to the islands. As well, Hawaiian Airlines continues to evaluate new strategies in producing top line growth."

Hawaiian Airlines carried 1,296,000 revenue passengers during the first quarter of 1997, a slight decrease from 1,315,000 carried during the same quarter of 1996. Despite weaker travel demand in January and February, revenue passenger miles for the quarter increased 4.7 percent to 979.0 million RPMs as a result of stronger traffic in March. Available seat miles rose 11.0 percent during the quarter to 1.38 billion ASMs. The airline's systemwide average load factor, which continues to be among the highest in the industry, decreased 4.3 percentage points to 70.9 percent for the quarter.

Preliminary Hawaiian Airlines traffic statistics for April 1997 indicate increases in revenue passenger miles and load factor as compared to April 1996 statistics.

Preliminary visitor statistics from the Hawaii Visitor and Convention Bureau show a decline of 4.4 percent in the total number of visitors to Hawaii in the first two months of 1997, compared to the same period in 1996. March 1997 total visitors increased 4.3 percent compared to March 1996, yielding a 1997 first quarter decrease in total visitors of 1.4 percent.

Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii's first and largest airline, provides scheduled and charter air transportation of passengers, cargo and mail among the islands of Hawaii and between Hawaii and six West Coast gateway cities and two destinations in the South Pacific. The carrier was recently awarded the prestigious President's Award for innovation in coach class service by the International In-Flight Food Service Association, and has been rated one of the "Top 10 U.S. Airlines" by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine for the past six consecutive years.

Except for historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this news release contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The company's actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, the effect of changing economic conditions, trends in the airline industry, the ability to control costs and expenses, and other risks detailed in the company's continuing reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.

Condensed Statements of Operations (in thousands, except per share data) (Unaudited)
Three Months Ended March 31,19971996Operating Revenues$ 99,766$ 94,062Operating Expenses104,27093,666Operating Income (Loss)(4,504)396Nonoperating Income (Expense)(290)(978)Loss Before Income Taxes(4,794)(582)Income Tax Benefit2,398-Net Loss$(2,396)$(582)Net Loss Per Common Stock Share$(0.06)$(0.03)Weighted Average Number of Common Stock Shares Outstanding39,38421,521Statistical Data (in thousands, except as otherwise indicated) (Unaudited)
Three Months Ended March 31,19971996SCHEDULED OPERATIONS:Revenue passengers flown1,2261,269Revenue passenger miles ("RPM")790,956809,797Available seat miles ("ASM")1,166,0131,112,525Passenger load factor67.8%72.8%Revenue ton miles90,36694,600Revenue plane miles4,6894,681Passenger revenue per passenger mile ("Yield")10.2+9.9+OVERSEAS CHARTER OPERATIONS:Revenue passengers flown7046RPM188,118125,660ASM214,624131,767