Southwest Airlines Posts $205M Profit for 3Q

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Southwest Airlines Co. is making money as more people travel on the nation's largest discount airline.

    Dallas-based Southwest today announced it earned $205 million in the late-summer third quarter.

    Traffic was up about 5 percent, which along with higher average fares pushed revenue up 20 percent.

    CEO Gary Kelly says the outlook for October is excellent.

    Southwest joins United, Continental, Delta, American, US Airways and JetBlue in posting third-quarter profits as the airlines benefit from higher fares and growing travel demand coming out of the recession.

    Southwest flies only within the continental U.S. -- so it's not benefiting from the sharp increase in international travel.

    That could start to change with the deal Southwest announced last month to buy rival low-fare airline AirTran for $1.4 billion.

    AirTran flies to Mexico and the Caribbean.