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Southwest Airlines records $1.2B Q3 loss

Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) on Thursday reported a $1.2 billion net loss in the third quarter, a result of the continued impact of the coronavirus tamping down domestic passenger travel.

Excluding special items, the airline recorded a net loss of $1.2 billion for the quarter, while its operating revenues reached $1.8 billion, down 68.2% year-over-year

“We are encouraged by modest improvements in leisure passenger traffic trends since the slowdown in demand experienced in July,” said Southwest CEO Gary Kelly in a statement. “However, until we have widely available vaccines and achieve herd immunity, we expect passenger traffic and booking trends to remain fragile.”

Southwest currently has 734 planes in its fleet. It returned two leased 737-700s during the third quarter. In response to capacity reductions from COVID-19, the company has placed up to 250 planes in storage or short-term parking.

The airline recently adjusted its December published flight schedule and currently estimates its capacity to decrease in the range of 40-45% year-over-year. It estimates its fourth-quarter 2020 capacity will decrease about 40% year-over-year.

Southwest, which caters to domestic air freight with its passenger services, said it will “monitor demand and booking trends and adjust capacity, as deemed necessary, on an ongoing basis.”

Click for more FreightWaves/American Shipper articles by Chris Gillis.

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Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.