Included in operating expenses for 2000 was a $7.6 million charge related to the write down of two owned DC10 aircraft subsequently sold and leased back in January 2001. Additionally, the company recorded a fleet restructuring charge of $14.9 million relating to the accelerated retirement of Hawaiian's fleet of 15 narrowbody DC-9-50 aircraft, which will be replaced entirely in 2001 with 13 new Boeing 717-200 aircraft; the charge is comprised of $6.8 million related to estimated costs associated with return condition provisions and early termination provisions for five leased DC-9 aircraft, plus $8.1 million related to the write down of DC-9 spare parts inventory to fair market value. On March 2, 2000 the company announced that it had signed a purchase agreement with The Boeing Company to acquire 13 B717s in 2001, with purchase rights for seven additional 717s. Hawaiian has taken delivery of two of the B717s through March 2001 with the remaining eleven aircraft scheduled to be delivered over the next nine months.
During the fourth quarter of 2000, Hawaiian Airlines reached agreement on a new 42-month contract with its pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). The company has also recently reached a tentative agreement with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and continues to negotiate with its other principal unions, the International Association of Machinists (IAM), the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the Communications Section over contracts that all became amendable on February 28, 2000.
Fourth Quarter Operating Results
Operating revenues in the fourth quarter 2000 increased 20 percent to $146.7 million, compared to $122.4 million in the fourth quarter of 1999. Fourth quarter 2000 operating expenses of $164.6 million included $2.1 million of the DC9 fleet restructuring charge and a $7.6 million loss on assets held for sale related to the sale and leaseback in January 2001 of two DC10 aircraft; 1999 fourth quarter operating expenses of $175 million included a $47 million non-cash impairment charge related to the DC-9 fleet.
The company reported a quarterly operating loss of $17.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2000, compared to an operating loss of $52.6 million in the fourth quarter of 1999. The company reported a net loss of $20.4 million, and a loss per share of $0.59 for the quarter ended December 31, 2000, compared to a net loss of $34.2 million, and a loss per share of $0.83 in the fourth quarter 1999.
The company recorded a 5.0 percent increase in the total number of passengers carried during the 2000 fourth quarter as compared to the same period in 1999, with scheduled service passenger revenues increasing $15.3 million, or 15.7 percent, to $112.4 million for the quarter. The increase in passenger revenues was driven primarily by a 4.0 percent improvement in the company's Transpacific (West Coast U.S. - Hawaii) passenger traffic and a 10.5 percent increase in system average yield. Charter revenues improved by $5.7 million to $21.6 million during the fourth quarter.
Revenue per available seat mile (RASM) during the fourth quarter of 2000 increased 9.1 percent from 7.35 cents in 1999 to 8.02 cents in 2000, due in large part to the 10.5 percent increase in yield from 9.5 cents in 1999 to 10.5 cents in 2000. Total revenue passenger miles (RPMs) for scheduled and charter operations during the fourth quarter increased 7.6 percent to 1.4 billion RPMs.,Available seat miles (ASMs) increased 9.8 percent to 1.8 billion ASMs compared to 1999 fourth quarter levels.
Excluding the special non-cash fleet impairment charge of $47 million in the fourth quarter 1999 and the $9.7 million relating to the fleet restructuring charge and loss on assets held for sale recorded in the fourth quarter 2000, total operating expenses increased by 21.0 percent or $26.9 million during the 2000 fourth quarter, largely due to a $12.8 million or 51.2 percent increase in fuel expense. Aircraft fuel costs during the fourth quarter 2000 contributed 2.0 cents per ASM compared to 1.5 cents per ASM in the fourth quarter 1999, which resulted in an increase in total cost per available seat mile, or overall unit cost, to 8.5 cents per ASM compared to 7.7 cents per ASM during the fourth quarter of 1999.
Annual Operating Results
Total operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2000 increased 24.2 percent to $607.2 million, compared to $488.9 million in 1999. The increase resulted primarily from growth in the company's Interisland and Transpacific scheduled passenger revenues of 15.9 percent and 21.4 percent, respectively, as well as a 76.8 percent increase in charter revenues.
Total operating expenses for 2000 rose 17.3 percent to $621.0 million from $529.4 million in 1999. Operating expenses were impacted by a 58.7 percent increase in the average price of fuel over 1999 levels, as well as increases in wages and benefits, aircraft maintenance and other costs primarily related to a 15 percent increase in ASM capacity. Fuel expense increased in 2000 by $50.8 million or 66.5 percent which included the favorable effect of an $11.7 million benefit realized through the company's hedging program associated with forward heating oil contracts
Including the fleet restructuring charges and the loss on assets held for sale, the company reported an operating loss of $13.8 million for 2000, compared to an operating loss of $40.5 million in 1999. The company reported a net loss of $18.6 million and a loss per share of $0.48 in 2000, compared to a net loss of $29.3 million and a loss per share of $0.72, recorded in 1999.
Excluding charges of $22.5 million related to the fleet restructuring and the loss on assets held for sale, the company would have reported an operating profit of $8.7 million and a net profit of $ 5.5 million, or $0.14 per diluted share for 2000. Excluding the fleet impairment loss of $ 47 million recorded in 1999, the company would have reported an operating profit of $6.4 million and a net profit of $ 3.0 million, or $0.07 per diluted share in 1999.
The company experienced a 9.8 percent increase in the total number of passengers carried during 2000. Total passenger revenues in 2000 increased $111.0 million, or 24.8 percent, to $557.8 million for the year; increases in passenger revenues were driven primarily by approximately 8 percent and 10 percent more Interisland and Transpacific revenue passengers at average yield increases of 7 percent and 11 percent, respectively. A 76.8 percent increase in charter revenues and a 17.4 percent increase in cargo and other revenues also contributed to top line growth.
Revenue per available seat mile (RASM) in 2000, enhanced by a slight increase in load factor and a 7.8 percent improvement in overall yield, increased 9.1 percent to 8.4 cents in 2000 compared to 7.7 cents in 1999. Cost per available seat mile (CASM), excluding the special charges in both years, increased 8.1 percent to 8.3 cents in 2000 compared to 7.6 cents in 1999. The increase in CASM was driven primarily by increased fuel expense which, on a year-over-year basis, impacted CASM by .55 cents.
The company's liquidity position improved by $1.4 million during the year, with cash and cash equivalents totaling $67.8 million as of December 31, 2000.
"We are very pleased with our continued success at driving revenue growth," Paul Casey Hawaiian Airlines Vice Chairman and CEO said. "However, higher maintenance and fuel costs will continue to mitigate that success until our ongoing fleet modernization program is complete."
Casey said Hawaiian is close to choosing a replacement aircraft for its widebody fleet of McDonnell Douglas DC-10s, which are used to operate long-range routes outside of Hawaii. "The successor to our DC-10s is clearly a twin-engine, widebody aircraft that will afford greater maintenance and fuel economy as well as range flexibility. Our hope is to complete this transition by 2004," he said.
Mr. Casey concluded, "The work we've done in 2000 and that continues in 2001 -- to modernize our fleet of aircraft -- will establish a foundation to improve the company's cost structure and provide opportunities to enhance profitability going forward. While we are excited about the prospects of greater operating efficiency, we are also concerned about continuing high fuel prices and the potential effects of a slowing U.S. economy and continued instability of Japan's economy -- both of which have great impact on Hawaii tourism."
"Our focus in 2001 is to complete negotiations with our unions and to continue our aggressive program to modernize Hawaiian's entire fleet," he said.
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 has earned numerous international awards for its on-board service in First Class and Coach, is consistently rated one of the "Top 10 U.S. Airlines" by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine and was recently named the Number One U.S. airline for "Premium" category service by Zagat. Additional information about Hawaiian Airlines, including previously issued company news releases, may be accessed on the Internet at www.hawaiianair.com.
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.