$85 million profit for Alaska Air

SEATTLE — Alaska Air Group Inc., the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, said Thursday it swung to a third-quarter profit as both carriers flew more passengers, lowered costs and benefited from fuel hedging.

Though the latest quarter's results beat Wall Street expectations, the company said it expects to lose money in the fourth quarter because of skyrocketing fuel prices and the seasonal decline in end-of-the-year passenger traffic.

Alaska Air Group shares fell 5 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $25.52 in afternoon trading.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Alaska Air earned $85.8 million, or $2.11 per share, compared with a loss of $17.4 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air together serve 92 cities, including Medford, through an expansive network throughout Alaska, the lower 48 states, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico.

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