Southwest Airlines flew 5.7 billion revenue passenger miles
(RPMs) in November 2007, a 2.6 percent increase from the 5.6 billion RPMs
flown in November 2006.
Available seat miles (ASMs) increased 6.4 percent
to 8.3 billion from the November 2006 level of 7.8 billion. The load factor
for the month was 69.3 percent, compared to 71.8 percent for the same
period last year.
Gary C. Kelly, CEO, stated: “This is a very exciting time for Southwest
Airlines. Our goal is to remain the Low Fare Leader and, at the same time,
improve our Customer Experience. We recently implemented our new boarding
method and are scheduled to complete the systemwide transformation of our
gate areas early next year to increase Customer productivity and comfort.
In November, we announced enhancements to our fare structure, including our
new Business Select product, and unveiled enhancements to our Rapid Rewards
frequent flyer program. We are pleased with the results of these 2007
initiatives, in particular, the number of Business Select fares being sold.
“Our operating revenue performance quarter-to-date has been solid,
rising roughly three percent per ASM on a year-over-year capacity increase
of almost six percent. However, we are concerned about growing evidence of
slowing economic growth that would inevitably affect passenger demand,
coupled with a surge in energy prices. Accordingly, we plan to reduce our
2008 fleet growth to five to ten aircraft, for a year-over-year ASM
increase of approximately four to five percent. This more conservative
growth rate will aid us in our efforts to drive improved profits next year.
Further, it allows us time to realize benefits from our various 2007 and
2008 revenue initiatives in our ongoing efforts to overcome rising
operating costs. If the airline industry prospects worsen, we will be
prepared with the strongest balance sheet, best fuel hedge, lowest
operating costs, and best People and Customer Service in America.”
For the eleven months ended November 30, 2007, Southwest flew 66.6
billion RPMs, compared to the 62.2 billion RPMs recorded for the same
period of 2006, an increase of 7.1 percent. Available seat miles increased
7.7 percent to 91.2 billion from the 2006 level of 84.7 billion. The
year-to-date load factor was 73.0 percent, compared to 73.4 percent for the
same period last year.