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Southwest Airlines earnings report: Travel meltdown led Southwest to $159M loss in Q1

SWA announces changes months after major travel meltdown
SWA announces changes months after major travel meltdown 00:49

DALLAS ( -- Southwest Airlines reported its first quarter earnings Thursday morning, which revealed the heavy cost of last December's travel meltdown.

The Dallas-based airline lost $159 million dollars from January through March of this year. The company says it lost $380 million, before taxes, directly tied to the meltdown, including a slowdown in bookings in January and February. That's on top of the meltdown's $800 million price tag in the fourth quarter of 2022.

More than 16,000 flights were canceled over the week between Christmas and New Years as the airline scrambled to get its operations back on track. 

In the months since, Southwest has announced plans to make a number of changes to avoid similar incidents in the future. Changes include adding deicing trucks to airports, increasing staffing during extreme weather events and upgrading its outdated crew scheduling systems.

Overall, the company reported $5.7 billion in operating revenue in the first quarter, which set a record. Southwest president and CEO Bob Jordan said in a statement Thursday morning that demand for travel remains high, and the company expects "solid profits" the rest of the year.

"We also continue to expect our network to be roughly restored to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year," Jordan said.

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