Southwest April revenue and load factor was in line, sees continued improvement in travel demand

Southwest Airlines Co. disclosed Wednesday that April operating revenue and load factor were in line with expectations, and said it continues to see improvement in leisure passenger demand and bookings for May and June travel. The air carrier said based on current bookings, leisure fare levels for June 2021 are expected to near June 2019 levels. The stock fell 1.6% in premarket trading, amid a selloff among its peers and the broader stock market. For April, operating revenue was down 42% from pre-pandemic 2019 levels, compared with the previous estimate of down 40% to 45%, while load factor of 79% compared with expectations of 75% to 80%. For May, the revenue estimate is unchanged at down 35% to 40% while the load factor estimate improved to 85% from 75% to 80%. Southwest cut its average daily cash burn estimate for the second quarter to $1 million to $3 million from $2 million to $4 million, citing expectations of improving revenue trends that more than offset higher fuel prices. The company still expects to achieve breakeven average cash flow, or better, in June. The stock’s selloff comes as the U.S. Global Jets ETF dropped 1.7% and S&P 500 futures shed 0.8% ahead of the open.

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