Southwest provides monthly update to reflect improving leisure passenger traffic and fares

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. were indicated up nearly 0.5% in premarket trading Tuesday, after the air carrier provided May metrics and a June outlook that reflected improving leisure passenger traffic and fares. May revenue was down 35% from the same period in 2019, compared with a previous guidance range of down 35% to 40%, while load factor was 84%, compared with expectations of 85%. Capacity was down 18% from 2019, in line with previous estimates. For June, Southwest now expects revenue to be down 20% versus a previous estimate of down 20% to 25%, the load factor outlook is unchanged at 85% and capacity is expected to be down 7% versus a previous estimate of down 6%. The company said it recently entered into an agreement with Boeing Co. to increase its firm 2022 orders by 34 Boeing 737 MAX 7 planes, bringing the total to 234 firm orders. Separately, the company said it recently received the second disbursement of about $926 million of payroll support funding under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, totaling a full $1.9 billion of expected payroll support. Southwest shares have advanced 25.0% year to date, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has rallied 18.1% and the S&P 500 has gained 12.5%.

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