24-Jan-2020 11:41 AM

Southwest Airlines reports healthy pax bookings and revenue trends in current environment

Southwest Airlines reported (23-Jan-2020) healthy passenger bookings and revenue trends, with total operating revenues up 0.4% year-on-year in 4Q2019 and FY2019 total operating revenue up 2.1%, despite less capacity as a result of the Boeing 737 MAX grounding. RASM grew 1.3% in 4Q2019, primarily due to a strong performance from Southwest's Rapid Rewards loyalty programme and passenger revenue yield growth of 1.5%, which was offset by a load factor decline of 0.4pp. RASM for this period was as per the carrier's expectations, benefitting from the 737 MAX grounding by a few points but also suffering from the adverse effects of adjusting its previously published flight schedule. Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said the RASM was up 3.7% in FY2019, pushed along by a "stable domestic economy and revenue environment" and a "strong performance" from its Rapid Rewards loyalty programme, as well as lower capacity as a result of the 737 MAX groundings. The carrier also accrued USD667 million in profit sharing for employees in 2019, including USD97 million in 4Q2019. [more - original PR]

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