American and Southwest report stronger bookings, ramp up schedules

A Southwest Airlines jet leaves Midway Airport on in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines on Thursday said leisure travel bookings continue to rise and that it expects to break even “or better” by June.

The Dallas-based airline posted first-quarter net income of $116 million, compared with a $94 million loss a year ago. Its first-quarter profit was the result of more than $1 billion in federal aid that offset its labor costs.

Southwest’s shares were up 1% in premarket trading, after trading lower before it reported results.

Airline executives have noted improvements in bookings as vaccinations increase and tourist attractions reopen.

Southwest said it’s beefing up its schedule and that it will fly slightly less this June than the same month of 2019.

Revenue fell to $2.05 billion, down more than 51% from last year and slightly below the $2.07 billion Wall Street analysts were expecting.

Here’s how Southwest performed in the first quarter compared with what Wall Street expected, based on average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings: a loss of $1.72 per share versus an expected loss of $1.85 a share
  • Revenue: $2.05 billion versus expected $2.07 billion in revenue

American Airlines is also set to report results before the market opens.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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