Southwest marks another year of profit
Southwest Airlines had net incomes of $131 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 and $459 million for the full year. By comparison, the respective periods in 2009 produced profits of $116 million and $99 million.
Gary Kelly, chairman, president and CEO said: "I commend our people for their perseverance, persistence and resolve. Because of them, we emerged from the worst decade in aviation history without losses, without furloughs and without degradation of our customer experience. And 2010 marked our 38th consecutive year of profitability, a tremendous feat unmatched in the aviation industry.
"Our fourth quarter 2010 net income, excluding special items, improved 55 percent from fourth quarter 2009. We produced record fourth quarter operating revenues of $3.1 billion. Absent the acquisition of AirTran, we currently have no plans to grow our fleet significantly until we reach our profit target and achieve a 15 percent pretax return on invested capital.”
Commenting on the deliveries of 19 B737-700 this year and 20 B737-800s in 2012, Kelly said: "Introducing the larger B737-800 into our fleet brings many more exciting destinations into the realm of possibilities for the Southwest network. On long-haul, high-demand routes, the economics favor the -800 versus the -700, producing lower unit costs.” Kelly also noted the company has begun a multi-year process of replacing its reservation system to “pave the way for international destinations.”