Southwest sees strong travel demand driving it into profit in Q4

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has said that it was expecting to be profitable in the fourth quarter on the back of stronger travel demand and fares.

It had previously forecast a loss for the quarter, citing mounting costs.

Southwest is aiming to be “solidly” profitable in all the quarters of 2022 by ensuring adequate staffing as well as restoring operational reliability.

Southwest’s upbeat outlook comes at a time when the airline industry is grappling with the uncertainty caused by the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The company said leisure bookings for December travel are exceeding its expectations.

However, business travel demand remains depressed.

Still, it expects revenue in the quarter through December to recover to at least 90% of the 2019 levels. The company’s fuel bill is also projected to be lower than its previous estimate.