Southwest’s May traffic shows record load factor

Southwest Airlines has announced that it reached a record load factor of 84.4% in May 2015 – an increase of 0.7 percentage points compared with the 83.7% load factor during May 2014 – although the passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) is estimated to have decreased approximately 6.0% across the respective periods.
“Considering recent weakness in close-in revenue passenger yields, an estimated two to three point impact from our year-over-year growth in stage length and seat gauge, and difficult comparisons to last year's strong second quarter performance, we currently estimate our second quarter 2015 PRASM will decline in the four to five percent range, compared with second quarter 2014,” explained Gary Kelly, Southwest’s president and CEO. “We have taken steps this week to begin pulling down our second half 2015 ASMs to manage our 2015 capacity growth, year-over-year, to approximately seven percent. With weaker than expected economic growth, we continue to evaluate our 2016 capacity plans with a current intent to cap our ASM growth to approximately six percent, year-over-year.”
Available seat miles (ASMs) in May 2015 increased 7.6% to 12.1 billion, compared with the May 2014 level of 11.2 billion, with Southwest flying 10.2 billion revenue passenger miles (RPMs) in May 2015, an 8.5% increase from the 9.4 billion RPMs flown during the same month last year.
Revenue passenger numbers for the month increased 6.3% year-on-year from 9,686,239 to 10,294,774.“Solid traffic and revenue trends continued in May, and we remain on track to produce record second quarter profits, excluding special items,” continued Kelly. “We continue to be pleased with the performance of our markets under development, which represents approximately twenty percent of our network. Dallas Love Field, in particular, continues to exceed our expectations, including the additional markets added in April 2015.”

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