Southwest Airlines Reports Robust March Traffic Statistics

A generic image of a line graph
Credit: Shutterstock photo

Southwest Airlines CompanyLUV reported impressive traffic results for March. Traffic (measured in revenue passenger miles or RPMs) rose 3.7% to around 11.72 billion while capacity or available seat miles (ASMs) expanded 2.4% to 13.76 billion.

Load factor (percentage of seats filled by passengers) improved 100 basis points (bps) to 85.1% in the month as traffic growth outpaced capacity expansion. Additionally, passenger count grew 5.3% to 14.32 billion.

In the first three months of 2018, Southwest Airlines witnessed a 3.7% rise in RPMs to 30.44 billion. Also, ASMs inched up 1.8% to 37.37 billion. As a result, the load factor increased 160 bps to 81.5%. Moreover, passenger count increased 5.5% to 37.54 billion on a year-to-date basis.

Southwest Airlines Co. Price

Southwest Airlines Co. Price | Southwest Airlines Co. Quote

The low-cost carrier anticipates first-quarter revenue per available seat mile (RASM) to be flat year over year. While it estimates operating expenses per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel and oil expense plus profit-sharing expense to nudge up 0-1%. Additionally, first-quarter fuel costs are assumed at approximately $2.10 per gallon.

The company is scheduled to report first-quarter 2018 results on Apr 26.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Southwest Airlines carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the airline space are Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. CPCAY , SkyWest, Inc. SKYW and United Continental Holdings, Inc. UAL , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Shares of Cathay Pacific Airways, SkyWest and United Continental have gained 11.5%, 19.7% and 1.3%, respectively, in the last six months.

Zacks Editor-in-Chief Goes "All In" on This Stock

Full disclosure, Kevin Matras now has more of his own money in one particular stock than in any other. He believes in its short-term profit potential and also in its prospects to more than double by 2019. Today he reveals and explains his surprising move in a new Special Report.

Download it free >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV): Free Stock Analysis Report

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (UAL): Free Stock Analysis Report

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (CPCAY): Free Stock Analysis Report

SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on click here.

Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos