March 4, 2024

A bird flies in the foreground as a Southwest Airlines jet lands at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 25, 2020.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines The first-quarter loss was $159 million as the financial impact of the holiday debacle stretched into 2023.

The airline canceled more than 16,000 flights in the final days of December because staffing software couldn’t keep up with schedule changes during coast-to-coast storms. Southwest said the incident resulted in a $325 million loss in first-quarter revenue.

The company had warned in January of a loss for the quarter and said cancellations by customers had increased earlier this year.

Shares of Southwest Airlines fell more than 3% in afternoon trading after the results were announced.

Southwest Airlines is like this implement For the first quarter, compared to Wall Street expectations based on Refinitiv consensus estimates:

  • Adjusted loss per share: 27 cents compared with an expected loss of 23 cents.
  • Total revenue: $5.71 billion, compared with expectations for $5.73 billion.

Revenue rose more than 21% from a year ago to $5.71 billion. Southwest’s net loss of $159 million also improved from a loss of $278 million a year earlier.

The Dallas-based carrier said it expects a revenue headwind in the second quarter, but said it expects to be profitable for the three months ended June 30.

Southwest Airlines said revenue per available seat mile, which measures how much an airline flies to generate revenue, is expected to fall 8% to 10% from a year earlier, with capacity rising 14% in the second quarter.

The airline said its sales outlook was hit by about $300 million in “broken revenue” because of “higher-than-normal amounts associated with flight credits issued during the pandemic that expired unused”. Southwest said it eliminated the expiration date for ticket credits last summer.

Southwest expects costs, excluding fuel, to rise 5% to 8% in the second quarter, a cost outlook that includes wage accruals for labor contracts it is currently negotiating, including its pilots and flight attendants.

Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan: We expect strong full-year profit

chief executive of southwest airlines and rivals American airlines say the plane from Boeing are delayed, hindering their growth plans.

Southwest said it expected to take delivery of only 70 Boeing 737 Max planes this year, down from 90, and Chief Executive Bob Jordan said the airline was “cautious” about its plans given repeated delays from the manufacturer. Southwest Airlines said it will increase its capacity plan by 1 percent in 2023.

“You plan your schedule ahead of time, you set your capacity, and you’re wrong. It’s really hard to change that,” Jordan told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” after the report was released.

The company also had to “adjust” its hiring plans this year, starting with a net hiring of 7,000 because of Boeing’s delays, he said.

Boeing said on Wednesday it plans to boost production of the 737 Max jet to 38 a month this year from about 31 currently, a long-planned ramp-up delayed by supply chain issues and labor shortages.