April 22, 2009 / 11:13 AM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-AirTran posts quarterly profit vs loss

* Q1 EPS 21 cents vs loss 38 cents

* Expects profit in every quarter this year

ATLANTA, April 22 (Reuters) - AirTran Holdings Inc AAI.N posted a first-quarter profit on Wednesday, reversing a year-earlier loss, as it cut operating costs and filled a greater percentage of seats after curbing capacity.

The parent of AirTran Airways reiterated that it expects to be profitable each quarter this year.

Net income came to $28.7 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with a loss of $35.4 million, or 38 cents a share, a year earlier.

Operating revenue fell 9 percent to nearly $542 million, while operating expenses dropped 22 percent.

The company said its load factor, or percentage of seats filled, was 76.3 percent, a record for the first quarter.

Capacity, measured in available seat miles, was down 7.2 percent, while fuel costs fell 50.5 percent. (Reporting by Karen Jacobs; editing by John Wallace)

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