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American, Southwest project busy travel season after winter slowdown

Airlines say that travel demand is picking up heading into the critical summer travel season, fueling their expectations for profits after what was in some cases a more lackluster winter.

Southwest Airlines Co. decrease; red down pointing triangle reported a quarterly loss of $159 million as the impact of the airline’s winter meltdown bled into the first months of the year. The airline said it saw a $325 million hit to revenue due to cancellations of “holiday return travel” and slower bookings in January and February but said bookings turned around by March.

Over the winter holidays, storms overwhelmed Southwest’s operation and crew-rescheduling software couldn’t keep pace to reset the airline.

American Airlines Group Inc. increase; green up pointing triangle reported a profit of $10 million on record first-quarter revenue of $12.2 billion.

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Several rivals posted losses during the first quarter, which is typically the weakest time of year for airlines. Lucrative corporate travel, which has yet to return to prepandemic levels, didn’t fill in for the typical drop-off in vacation travel after the winter holidays. At the same time, carriers grappled with higher costs for fuel.

Excerpt from WSJ
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