Tags: Money | Travel | air travel | covid | vacation

Southwest Prepares for Increase in Bookings as Vaccines Drive Leisure Travel

Passenger wearing face mask using mobile phone on airplane during COVID pandemic to prevent coronavirus infection.

Passenger wearing face mask on airplane during COVID pandemic.

Thursday, 22 April 2021 07:11 AM

Southwest Airlines Co. on Thursday posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly adjusted loss and forecast lower cash burn in the second quarter as rising vaccination rates and pent-up demand for leisure travel signal an "optimistic summer."

U.S. airlines are preparing for a rebound in summer bookings after nearly a year in the doldrums due to the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying travel restrictions.

"Vaccinations are on the rise, and COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States are down significantly from their peak in January 2021," said Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly.

"As a result, we are experiencing steady weekly improvements in domestic leisure bookings."

The company said it was adding flights and expects second-quarter capacity to rise about 90% from a year earlier, but about 15% below 2019 levels, when air travel was not hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

Second-quarter average core cash burn is expected to be between $2 million and $4 million per day, Southwest said, compared with about $13 million per day in the previous three months. Southwest said it expects to achieve break-even average core cash flow or better by June.

Excluding items, the Dallas-based company reported a net loss of $1.02 billion, or $1.72 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a net loss of $77 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total operating revenue fell 51.5% to $2.05 billion.

Analysts on average had expected Southwest to report a loss of $1.85 per share and revenue $2.07 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. 

© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


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Southwest Airlines Co. on Thursday posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly adjusted loss and forecast lower cash burn in the second quarter as rising vaccination rates and pent-up demand for leisure travel signal an "optimistic summer."U.S. airlines are preparing for a...
air travel, covid, vacation
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2021-11-22
Thursday, 22 April 2021 07:11 AM
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