Sky Talk

Southwest Airlines says passenger traffic up 4.2 percent in December


Southwest Airlines said its passenger traffic grew 4.2 percent in December as the Dallas-based airline increased its capacity by 4.8 percent.

Planes were not as full this Christmas for Southwest with the carrier reporting its load factor declined 0.4 percentage points to 82.6 percent.

However, Southwest said its unit revenues improved during the holiday month and now forecasts that its fourth quarter unit revenues will decline 3 to 4 percent instead of the previous estimate of 4 to 5 percent.

With the improved unit revenue forecast, shares of Southwest [ticker: LUV] were up more than 2 percent, trading around $51.63 at 11:15 a.m. CDT.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk