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USAIR LOSES $101.7 MILLION

USAir Group Inc., the major carrier at Greater Buffalo International Airport, said Wednesday it lost $101.7 million in the fourth quarter, largely because of higher fuel costs and service disruptions stemming from Hurricane Hugo and the San Francisco area earthquake.

The airline holding company also reported a $63.2 million loss for the full year. Fare-cutting and costs associated with its merger with Piedmont Airlines last August also contributed to the loss, the carrier said.

USAir's fourth-quarter loss of $101.7 million, or $2.49 a share, compared with earnings of $22.8 million, or 53 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenues edged up to $1.49 billion from $1.48 billion.

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