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Southwest Airlines Reports February Traffic

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Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) announced today that the Company flew 5.1 billion revenue passenger miles (RPMs) in February 2009, a 6.0 percent decrease from the 5.4 billion RPMs flown in February 2008.  Available seat miles (ASMs) decreased 6.5 percent to 7.4 billion from the February 2008 level of 7.9 billion.  The load factor for the month was 69.1 percent, compared to 68.6 percent for the same period last year.  


For the first two months of 2009, Southwest flew 10.2 billion RPMs, a 6.2 percent decrease from the 10.9 billion RPMs recorded for the same period in 2008.  Available seat miles decreased 5.4 percent to 15.6 billion from the 2008 level of 16.5 billion.  The year-to-date load factor was 65.8 percent, compared to 66.3 percent for the same period last year.  


Revenues softened in February compared to January, bringing the year-over-year increase in passenger unit revenues to the two percent range for the first two months of 2009.   Business travel, in particular, has softened significantly, as measured by a decline in the percentage of full-fare traffic.  As a consequence of the continued deterioration in revenue and booking trends and the current economic environment, the Company's revenue outlook for the remainder of the year is more cautious.


This release, as well as past news releases on Southwest, are available online at    
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