Mesa Air reports loss of $4.2 million

Mesa Air Group continued to struggle in its first fiscal quarter, reporting on Thursday a $4.2 million loss on declining revenue.

The Phoenix-based company, which flies commuter routes for US Airways and other major carriers, blamed the poor results on a number of factors including its costly transition to larger, more-profitable regional jets and higher maintenance costs.

"You can rest assured that we are not particularly pleased with these results," Chairman Jonathan Ornstein said on a conference call with analysts and investors.

Mesa's bottom line includes results from its money-losing Air Midwest subsidiary, which it is divesting. Excluding those results, its net loss from continuing operations was $2.7 million, compared with a profit of $8.8 million in the same period a year ago. Quarterly revenue fell 2.1%, to $326.6 million.

Mesa said it is in talks to boost its cash reserves by financing its $100 million in spare-parts inventory. The airline's cash took a hit with a $90 million bond required by a court judgment in a case brought by Hawaiian Airlines. That case involved Mesa's go! unit, which operates within the state of Hawaii.

On Thursday, Mesa's stock fell 9%, to $2.87, on a day when all airline stocks were hit hard by rising oil prices. A year ago, the company's shares were around $8.

The Arizona Republic is owned by Gannett, parent company of USA TODAY.

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