Southwest Airlines’ Financial Performance Results in Loss in First Quarter 2023

Southwest Airlines’ financial performance has led to the company making a loss in the first quarter of this year. As we know Southwest Airlines has had a difficult time in the past year as well but in spite of this made an overall profit of 539 million US dollars. However it does appear that the company has not been doing too well recently as in the fourth quarter of last year the company made a loss of 220 million US dollars.

A Southwest Airlines passenger sparks fury by airdropping nude photos to everyone aboard
Southwest Airlines idid make an overall profit last year © Boeing

Southwest Airlines’ Financial Performance

As we know many airlines have been having difficulties in the past few years initially due the pandemic restrictions. At this time demand for flights plummeted and therefore airlines made heavy losses. To make worse after pandemic restrictions were lifted, airlines were unable to take up the opportunity to quickly increase passenger numbers and therefore profits. This is because many staff had been laid off during the pandemic and therefore airports found it difficult to cope with the surge in demand as new staff had to be recruited. As a result there were mass delays and cancelations of flights and after the chaos this caused, airports started restricting the numbers of flights to limit numbers of passengers at airports. In the case of Southwest Airlines, even after the situation started to improve later on in the year, Storm Elliot in the US led to further problems. This impacted on Southwest Airlines’ financial performance, resulting in the loss in the fourth quarter of last year.

In terms of Southwest Airlines’ financial performance in the three months up to March 31st, it appears that the company’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Jordan already stated when the year end results for 2022 were released that he would be expecting a loss at this time. This shows that Southwest Airlines was already aware that the company was going to be making a loss at this time. However on a positive note, the company did say that it had more bookings for March this year so the situation should improve later on. In terms of the figures, the company made a loss of 159 million US dollars. As one can see this was not as bad as the loss made in the fourth quarter of last year. In addition, it appears that Southwest Airlines’ financial performance is better than it was in the first quarter of 2022 when it made a net loss of 278 million US dollars. This means that there has been a 42.8% reduction in the loss made when compared to the same period last year.

Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines was expecting to make a loss at this time © AP

Southwest Airlines’ Revenue

In terms of Southwest Airlines’ revenue (total money received) Southwest Airlines’ financial performance was 23.5% greater in the three months up to March 31st 2023 than the same period last year. Southwest Airlines created a revenue of 5.706 billion US dollars for the first quarter this year when compared to 4.694 billion dollars at the same time last year. The fact that revenue has improved by 23.5% whereas the loss has reduced by 42.8% suggests that Southwest Airlines is getting better at cost control which is good news.

As one can see, Southwest Airlines’ financial performance has resulted in a loss for the second quarter in a row. However this is as what was expected. In the current release Bob Jordan has reiterated this and also added that Southwest Airlines has however produced record first quarter revenues. It forecasts solid profits in the second quarter of 2023. We have to wait to see how this progresses.

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Amuthan Chandrarajan
Amuthan Chandrarajan
Aviation Reporter - Amuthan has a background in residential and commercial real estate. He also has a keen interest in aviation and travel and has visited many countries. Amuthan has a sound knowledge of business and finance.  He has gained a Master of Business Administration and has become a Chartered Management Accountant.