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Southwest largest US domestic carrier, weighs into B737 debate


Southwest Airlines remained the largest carrier in the US domestic market in Jul-2010 with 10 million passengers, a 4.7% year-on-year increase, equating to 14% more passengers than the second largest carrier, Delta Air Lines (with 8.6 million passengers). In the seven months to Jul-2010, Southwest handled 61.3 million passengers, 18% or almost 10 million more passengers than Delta (51.9 million).

JetBlue largest LCC in international market

JetBlue was the largest LCC in the international market, with 347,000 passengers in the month, to rank sixth, behind Delta (2.3 million passengers), American, Continental, United and US Airways. Southwest was not in the Top 10, meaning Delta was the largest overall (domestic and international) US carrier, with 10.8 million passengers in Jul-2010, compared to 10.0 million at Southwest.

Ryanair and Southwest interested in re-engined B737

In other news, Southwest joined the debate into the reengineering of the B787, with COO Mike Van de Ven commenting: “We certainly recognize the need for new economics. We are indifferent to whether that’s a new airplane or a re- engined airplane. One thing is for sure, waiting until 2025 to make a change is not an option”. Ryanair CFO Howard Millar similarly stated Europe’s largest LCC is "very interested" in a re-engined B737.

Ryanair and Southwest both operate exclusively Boeing fleets with Ryanair having 250 B737-800s in service with plans to increase its fleet to 299 by Mar-2013 while Southwest has 544 B737s in service with 116 on order. In Jul-2010, Boeing commenced that Southwest would be “very involved” in Boeing’s single-aisle decision commenting: “Whatever we do, it’s going to be something that Gary Kelly likes.”

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 15-Oct-2010

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