Alaska Air Group reports first quarter 2023 results

posted on 20th April 2023 by Eddie Saunders
Alaska Air Group reports first quarter 2023 results

Alaska Air Group today reported financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2023, and provided outlook for the second quarter ending June 30, 2023.

“This quarter we returned to pre-pandemic levels of flying and our roadmap to profitable growth is on track,” said Alaska CEO Ben Minicucci.

“As we progress through the year, we have taken deliberate steps to build momentum and we are well prepared for peak summer flying.

“Thank you to our 23,000 employees who are the backbone of our success – I’m proud of their work to deliver operational excellence and show care for the people who fly with us each day.

“We are well-positioned to deliver on our full-year financial targets, including a 9% to 12% adjusted pretax margin.”

Financial Highlights:

  • Reported net loss for the first quarter of 2023 under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) of $142 million, or $1.11 per share, compared to a net loss of $143 million, or $1.14 per share, for the first quarter of 2022.
  • Reported net loss for the first quarter of 2023, excluding special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, of $79 million, or $0.62 per share, compared to a net loss, excluding special items and mark-to-market fuel hedge accounting adjustments, of $167 million, or $1.33 per share, for the first quarter of 2022.
  • Resumed the share repurchase program, purchasing a total of 413,554 shares of common stock for approximately $18 million in the first quarter. The company continues to expect share repurchases of at least $100 million in 2023.
  • Held $2.4 billion in unrestricted cash and marketable securities as of March 31, 2023.
  • Ended the quarter with a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 48%, within the target range of 40% to 50%.

Operational Updates:

  • Ratified a two-year contract extension with more than 2,300 McGee Air Services employees represented by the IAM.
  • Received six 737-9 aircraft during the quarter, bringing the 737-9 fleet count to 43.
  • Activated new benefits for Alaska Visa Signature® cardholders, including priority boarding, lounge membership discounts, new ways to earn bonus miles and other perks. New benefits and program changes drove cash remuneration under the co-brand credit card agreement up 17% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Announced plans to elevate guests’ regional flying experience with streaming-fast satellite Wi-Fi on E175 regional jets.
  • Announced three new daily nonstop flights from San Diego to Washington, D.C.Tampa and Eugene, beginning service later in 2023.
  • Doubled pilot training throughput compared to the same period in 2022, aided by a 75% increase in qualified flight instructors and an investment in two 737 full-flight simulators. Three additional 737 full-flight simulator deliveries are expected later this year.
  • Began lobby transformation projects to provide guests a more seamless travel experience; expect to roll out new bag tag stations and bag drop technology in key airports throughout 2023 and 2024.
  • Created a virtual reality 737 flight deck, in partnership with VRPilot, to better prepare pilots for their training experience.

Environmental, Social and Governance Updates:

  • Announced an agreement with Shell Aviation to advance sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) technology and infrastructure throughout the West Coast; Shell Aviation will also supply Alaska with up to 10 million gallons of SAF in Los Angeles.
  • Launched a partnership with the Surfrider Foundation, an organization focused on protecting coastal habitats and reducing waste across the West Coast and throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

Awards and Recognition:

  • Alaska’s Mileage Plan named Best Airline Rewards Program by NerdWallet for its customer-friendly policies, rewards and fee structures.
  • Alaska and Horizon earned the Diamond Award of Excellence from the Federal Aviation Administration, recognizing the airlines’ aircraft technicians for their dedication to training.

The following table reconciles the company’s reported GAAP net loss per share (EPS) for the three months ended March 31, 2023 and 2022 to adjusted amounts.

Three Months Ended March 31,



(in millions, except per-share amounts)


Diluted EPS


Diluted EPS

GAAP net loss per share

$             (142)

$            (1.11)

$             (143)

$            (1.14)

Mark-to-market fuel hedge adjustments





Special items – fleet transition and other(a)





Special items – labor and related(b)



Income tax effect of reconciling items above





Non-GAAP adjusted net loss per share

$               (79)

$            (0.62)

$             (167)

$            (1.33)