Dallas based Southwest Airlines, the nation’s leading low cost carrier, reported net income of $224 million in the 2nd quarter. The profit reflects a positive trend industry-wide.
Just a few years ago, many U.S. carriers were struggling through bankruptcies, mergers, and financial losses. But no longer. Southwest says if it excludes the cost of integrating AirTran Airlines along with some fuel hedging losses, it would have set a 2nd quarter net income record of $274 million. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said the long-time domestic-only airline also flew it’s first international flight in the 2nd quarter, to San Juan, Puerto Rico. He added that 3rd quarter bookings are up so far.
Like Southwest, other carriers, including Delta, US Airways, and United-Continental also turned in 2nd quarter profits. Even American Airlines – still in bankruptcy - reported making money in the 2nd quarter - its first 2nd quarter profit in seven years.