Southwest Airlines

  1. Southwest Airlines profits hit by 737 Max delays

    Southwest Airlines 737 Max planes grounded in Florida

    Southwest Airlines has reported a 21% drop in fourth quarter profits due to mounting costs relating to the continued grounding of Boeing 737 Max jets.

    Southwest Airlines is the largest operator of 737 Max aeroplanes in the world, and it is now warning that it will have to extend flight cancellations beyond June.

    Southwest said its pre-tax profits fell from $654m to $514m for the four months ending 31 December 2019, compared to the same period in the previous year and coming in below analysts' expectations.

    Seat capacity fell 1.6% in 2019, as opposed to plans to grow capacity by almost 5%. The airline now says that it is likely to fall by between 1.5-2.5% in the first quarter of this year.

    Boeing said earlier this week that the 737 Max is unlikely to be given approval to fly for at least another five months, as regulators around the world continue to scrutinise updates to the flight controls and software, as well as protocols for training new pilots to fly the plane.

  2. Southwest hit from grounded planes

    Southwest planes

    Southwest, the world's largest user of Boeing's 737 Max with 34 jets and dozens more on order, has taken a $175m hit in the second quarter from problems with the plane.

    Gary Kelly, chief executive, said: "Our financial and operational performance was remarkably strong considering the impact of the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, which reduced operating income an estimated $175m in second quarter, alone.

    "Our employees did a heroic job managing approximately 20,000 flight cancellations under operationally difficult circumstances, while delivering excellent customer service."

    Talks with Boeing about compensation are yet to be concluded, he said.

  3. Grounded

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    plane

    American Airlines and Southwest Airlines announced this weekend that they would scrap flights because of the grounding of 737 Max planes.

    American Airlines said 115 flights a day would be affected in the coming months by the grounding of the Boeing jets.

    Southwest Airlines has cancelled its Max flights to 5 August.

    Chris Tarry, aviation expert, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that it is going to take a considerable period of time for the planes to get back in the air.

    They were grounded after the worldwide following fatal crashes involving Ethiopian Airlines and Indonesia's Lion Air.

    The story on the American Airlines groundings is here.

  4. US airlines report service shutdowns

    Southwest, Delta, and United airlines took to Twitter this morning to apologise for system-wide outages.

    Southwest told fed-up passengers: "We're working through some technical difficulties".

    Delta had a similar message for tired travellers: "Our team is working diligently to get this resolved and hope to have you on your way shortly".

    United Airlines said: "It appears that we are experiencing an outage that is impacting our ability to create release paperwork".

    However it looks as if the situation may have been been resolved, though it's not clear how many flights have been delayed - or cancelled - because of the outage.

    Southwest just tweeted:

    View more on twitter
  5. Southwest performance hit by 737 Max

    A southwest plane

    The impact of the grounding of Boeing's 737 Max planes could be having an impact on Southwest Airlines.

    The US carrier said its operating revenue per available seat mile - a key measure used to measure the financial performance of airlines - would be less than expected.

    It had previously expected a year-on-year rise for the first quarter of between 3%and 4% but lowered this to 2% to 3%.

    Its shares were down 2.5% in pre-market trading.

  6. Southwest allowing customers to switch from 737s

    Joe Miller

    Business reporter

    Southwest Airlines plane

    US carrier Southwest Airlines has said it is allowing customers booked on Boeing 737s to change their flights.

    In a statement, the airline said: "We are not issuing refunds of non-refundable fares, but we are working with Customers individually who wish to rebook their flight if they want to change their reservation.

    "We remain confident in the safety and airworthiness of our fleet of more than 750 Boeing aircraft."

  7. Southwest hit by US shutdown

    southwest plane

    Southwest Airlines says it expects a $60m hit from the US government shutdown.

    That's more than the $10m to $15m it had previously expected.

    The airline also cut its forecast for revenue per seat.

  8. Father of low-cost airline travel dies at 87

    Herb Kelleher

    Herb Kelleher, who co-founded low-cost US carrier Southwest Airlines, has died aged 87.

    The company described him as "a pioneer, a maverick and an innovator" who disrupted the airline industry "by making flying both fun and affordable".

    He is survived by his wife Joan and three of their four children.

    Read more.

  9. Video content

    Video caption: President Trump meets heroic Southwest Airlines crew

    The pilot and crew were praised for remaining calm after a catastrophic engine breakdown which killed one.

  10. Video content

    Video caption: Do you know how to wear an oxygen mask?

    Photos taken on board a Southwest Airlines plane following an in-flight emergency have caused alarm. Many people appear to be using their emergency breathing masks incorrectly.