Southwest Delays 737 Deliveries, Boosts Dividend

Delays designed to save money

Thursday, May 17, 2012  |  Updated 10:19 AM CDT
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Southwest Delays 737 Deliveries, Boosts Dividend

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A Southwest Airlines 737 takes off from the airline's hub at Dallas Love Field Airport in Dallas.

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Southwest Airlines is pushing back delivery of 30 Boeing 737s to save money and get a better return on its investment.

CEO Gary Kelly says Dallas-based Southwest got its first 737-800 from Boeing Co. in March. It had planned to get 20 more next year and 10 more in 2014.

Kelly on Wednesday told shareholders that those deliveries will now be pushed back to 2017 and 2018. He says Southwest will save more than $1 billion through 2014 with the delays.

Southwest flies only 737s, and it had 558 at the end of March. Its AirTran unit flies 737s as well as 717s.

Also, Southwest is doubling its $500 million share buyback program to $1 billion and raising its quarterly dividend to 1 cent per share.

Southwest's repurchase program was approved last August.

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