Southwest Airlines reports December and full 2009 traffic

Southwest Airlines has released its December 2009 traffic figures along with those for the whole of last year.

The company flew 5,970,666,000 revenue passenger miles (RPMs) in December 2009, a 3.0% increase from the 5,794,390,000 RPMs flown in December 2008. Available seat miles (ASMs) decreased 5.8% to 7,832,819,000 from the December 2008 level of 8,318,347,000.

The load factor for the month was 76.2%, a considerable 6.5 percentage point rise compared with 69.7% for the same period last year. For December 2009, passenger revenue per ASM (RASM) is estimated to have increased in the seven percent range as compared to December 2008.

Revenue passengers carried in December numbered 7,032,357, 3.7% up on December 2008’s total of 6,778,951.

For the year ended 31 December 2009, Southwest flew 74,456,719,000 RPMs, compared to 73,491,687,000 for the same period in 2008, an increase of 1.3%. ASMs decreased 5.1% to 98,001,621,000 from the 2008 level of 103,271,343,000. The full year load factor was 76.0%, compared to 71.2% for 2008, a 4.8 pp rise.

Southwest carried 86,305,366 revenue passengers last year, a 2.5% decrease from 2008’s total of 88,529,234.

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