Regent Air Posts $21.5 Million Loss in 1984
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Regent Air Corp., which bills itself as the ″all-frills″ airline but hasn’t made a profit since it was founded 21/2 years ago, said Friday it lost $4.4 million in the fourth quarter and $21.5 million for all of 1984.
The Los Angeles-based carrier also said it expects to lose about $3.2 million in this year’s first quarter. That would bring Regent’s total loss since its founding to $39.1 million.
J. Roger Faherty, Regent’s chairman and president, blamed the losses on ″a combination of excessive operating costs and of operating at fare and passenger levels substantially below the break-even level.″
Faherty, in a telephone interview from Regent’s office in New York, predicted the luxury airline would begin showing a profit ″sometime in 1985.″
Regent’s revenue totaled $12 million last year. The airline was operating for only about 21/2 months of 1983, so comparable revenue figures aren’t available.
Regent operates three Boeing 727s that were stripped down and remodeled to carry only 34 passengers in luxury, rather than the usual 120 passengers carried by those planes.
The Los Angeles-New York flights offer haute cuisine, spacious lounges, six staterooms and private secretaries.
Regent now charges $785 for a one-way flight, slightly higher than normal first-class seats on regular airlines. That is about half of what Regent initially charged, but it attracted few customers at those prices.
Still, Regent is luring only about 15 passengers per flight - fewer than it needs to break even.
Initially, Regent hired another company to operate its planes because Regent’s founders, Clifford and Stuart Perlman, were unable to get an operating license from the federal government because of allegations that they had links to organized crime.
The Perlmans sold out last year to Faherty, a New York investment banker. He got the company out from under the costly charter arrangement, and Regent now flies its own planes under a temporary license from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Regent is seeking a permanent operating license, but that has been held up by regulators until they are assured that the Perlmans have no connection with the company.
The Perlmans were affiliated with Caesar’s World Resorts and its predecessor from 1958 until 1982, when they sold their holdings to the company for $99 million when a New Jersey court refused to issue Caesar’s a gambling permit unless the Perlmans severed their ties.