Southwest Says Key Revenue Figure for 2Q Will Barely Rise

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. slipped Thursday after the company gave a guarded outlook for a key revenue figure in the second quarter.

Southwest also announced that it will delay $1.9 billion in spending by pushing back delivery of 67 new Boeing 737 Max jets by up to six years. Southwest, the nation's fourth-biggest airline, has about 330 planes on order through 2025.

The 67 planes being delayed were due for delivery between 2019 and 2022 but will be pushed back until 2023 to 2025. Southwest expects its fleet to number 723 planes by the end of this year, then drop to just over 700 by the end of 2017 before growing again.

During a meeting with investors in New York, Southwest said revenue for every seat flown one mile would rise less than 1 percent in the current quarter. That same figure fell 4 percent in the first quarter. Investors watch the number closely to see whether airlines are able to raise fares.

Chief Financial Officer Tammy Romo said Southwest has a more positive outlook than other airlines. American, Delta and United all expect revenue per mile to lag results from a year ago because average fares have fallen.

In late trading, shares of Dallas-based Southwest were down 65 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $39.60. They are down about 8 percent this year.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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