Southwest Airlines to focus on expanded margins in 2018, sees gains for new res system

    Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly commented (25-Jan-2018) on the key objectives for 2018, stating: “We begin 2018 focused on our goal to expand margins and profits, excluding special items. Our balance sheet and liquidity remain strong, with manageable debt service and capital spending this year”. The carrier’s 2018 growth plans effectively replace Classics retired in 2017 and further strengthen the carrier’s robust route network. Mr Kelly added: “Based on the current outlook and our commercial initiatives and objectives, our goal remains to achieve positive unit revenue growth in 2018, year-over-year”. He added that the carrier continues to expect its new reservation system to produce incremental improvements in pre-tax results of approximately USD200 million in 2018, primarily from enhanced revenue management capabilities. The carrier will also remain focused on improving productivity and reliability and reducing year-over-year operating costs per available seat mile, excluding fuel and oil expense, profitsharing expense, and special items, in 2018. [more – original PR]