Traffic Surge Stops SWA Free Fall

Thursday, Oct 15, 2009  |  Updated 10:00 AM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Traffic Surge Stops SWA Free Fall

Getty Images

A late surge in traffic helped Southwest curtail losses.

advertisement

Southwest Airlines lost $16 million during the third quarter, although the airline said a surge in traffic kept things from being worse.

Southwest pinned the loss on fuel hedges and an early retirement program. Not counting those, it would have made a $23 million profit, a "remarkable accomplishment" for Southwest workers considering where the quarter started, said Gary C. Kelly, Southwest's chairman, president, and CEO.

"Sixty days ago, even a modest profit seemed unattainable," he said.

Traffic rose 4.7 percent for the quarter.

Still, revenue fell 7.8 percent to $2.67 billion. Southwest and other airlines have kept planes full with discounts. But many of those travelers have been vacationers looking for deals. Freer-spending business travel has dropped off sharply, making it hard for airlines to turn a profit even on strong traffic.

Southwest's loss worked out to 2 cents per share. The operating profit was 3 cents per share, a penny ahead of the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

During the same period last year Southwest lost $120 million.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get NBCDFW on Mobile!
Get NBCDFW's free news and weather... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out