The carrier shows growth
By Dana Niland
Southwest Airlines reported passenger increases in its fourth quarter and total year preliminary traffic statistics.
The airline flew 10 billion revenue passenger miles in December 2015, an increase of 8.6 percent from the 9.2 billion RPMS flown in December 2014.
Available seat miles increased 8.3 percent to 12.1 billion in 2015, compared with December 2014 ASMs of 11.2 billion.
The December 2015 load factor set a record for the month of December at 83 percent, up .3 percent from the previous year.
For the fourth quarter, Southwest flew 29.7 billion RPMs, an 11.1 percent increase relative to the fourth quarter of 2014.
Fourth quarter ASMs increased 8.4 percent to 35.4 billion, compared with fourth quarter 2014 ASMs of 32.6 billion.
The fourth quarter load factor also set a record at 84.0 percent, compared with 82.0 percent from the previous year’s fourth quarter.
The company estimates its fourth quarter 2015 operating resume will be approximately flat to down 1.0 percent, compared with fourth quarter 2014.
For 2015, Southwest flew 117.5 billion RPMs, an 8.8 percent rise from the 108.0 billion RPMs flown in 2014.
Over the course of the year, ASMs increased 7.3 percent to 140.5 billion, and the load factor increased 1.1 percent to 83.6 percent– an annual record.
Southwest has been heavily expanding its Caribbean network, particularly out of its new Hobby hub in Houston.