AirTran Holdings, Inc., Reports Fourth Quarter and Year End Results

- Fourth Quarter Recovery with Operating Income of $54.9 Million - - Record Revenues of $589.4 Million - - 2008 Net Loss of $273.8 Million - ORLANDO, Fla. , Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall...


AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AAI), a Fortune 1000 company, is ranked number one in the 2008 Airline Quality Rating study. The airline offers coast-to-coast flights, North America's newest all-Boeing fleet, friendly service and Business Class and complimentary XM Satellite Radio on every flight. To book a flight, visit http://www.airtran.com.

Editor's note: Statements regarding the Company's operational and financial success, business model, expectation about future success, improved operational performance and our ability to maintain or improve our low costs are forward-looking statements and are not historical facts. Instead, they are estimates or projections involving numerous risks or uncertainties, including but not limited to, consumer demand and acceptance of services offered by the Company, the Company's ability to maintain current cost levels, fare levels and actions by competitors, regulatory matters and general economic conditions. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements is contained from time to time in the Company's SEC filings, including but not limited to the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 . The Company disclaims any obligation or duty to update or correct any of its forward-looking statements.

* Attached: Consolidated Statements of Operations

We prepare our financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Within our press release, we make reference to certain non-GAAP financial measures including EBITDA, EBITDA adjusted, operating margin adjusted, and net margin adjusted. Earnings before income taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") is a supplemental non-GAAP financial measure used by management, as well as industry analysts, to evaluate operations and operating performance. We are also presenting EBITDA because it is used by some industry analysts and investors as a way to assess a company's ability to incur and service debt, make capital expenditures and meet working capital requirements. Our disclosures may also exclude special or non-recurring items that we believe should be taken into consideration to more accurately measure and monitor our operating performance. Our disclosure of non-fuel operating cost per available seat mile (non-fuel CASM) is consistent with financial measures reported by other airlines and analysts. We believe that non-fuel CASM and non-fuel CASM adjusted provide a better understanding of our operations. Both the cost and availability of fuel are subject to many economic and political factors and are therefore beyond our control. Our press release also contains information regarding the components of GAAP fuel expense and net gains and loss on derivative financial instruments. These amounts have been included as supplemental information.

We disclose both the average fuel cost per gallon and the average economic fuel cost per gallon. Average fuel cost per gallon is based on fuel expense as measured by GAAP and includes realized gains and losses on fuel related derivative instruments which are accounted for as hedges. Average economic fuel cost per gallon includes realized gains and losses on all fuel related derivative instruments, including those which were not accounted for as hedges.

We consider our fuel derivative contracts an important tool in managing costs related to jet fuel purchases. We believe it is important to assess our financial performances by including the effect of the quarterly net cash settlements and excluding the mark-to-market adjustments for our unrealized gains and losses recorded in the income statement for contracts settling in future periods.

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