Southwest Airlines (LUV) Earnings Q1 2023

  • Southwest Airlines lost $159 million in the first quarter as the financial impact of its holiday meltdown lingers through 2023.
  • The carrier canceled more than 16,000 flights in the final days of December.
  • It expects revenue in the second quarter but forecasts a profit.

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 | Good pictures

Southwest Airlines lost $159 million in the first quarter as the financial impact of its holiday meltdown lingers through 2023.

The carrier canceled more than 16,000 flights in the final days of December. Southwest said the incident took a $325 million revenue hit in the first quarter.

Here’s how Southwest performed In the first quarter, Refinitiv compared with Wall Street expectations according to consensus estimates:

  • Adjusted loss per share: A loss of 27 cents and 23 cents is expected.
  • Total Revenue: $5.71 billion vs. an expected $5.73 billion.

Revenue of $5.71 billion represented a 21.6% increase over the previous year. Southwest’s net loss of $159 million was an improvement over the same period last year when it lost $278 million.

The Dallas-based carrier said it expects revenue in the second quarter but is forecasting a profit for the three months ending June 30.

Southwest said revenue per available seat mile, a measure of how much an airline flies, fell 8% in the second quarter from a year ago to 10% on capacity at 14%.

The carrier said its sales outlook was hit by about $300 million in “breakthrough revenue” because “a higher-than-usual amount related to airline loans issued during the pandemic will expire unused.” Southwest said last summer it eliminated expiration dates on airline loans.

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