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Southwest posts record $608 million second-quarter profit

Southwest Airlines reported record second quarter profits on Thursday as the Dallas-based airline continues to add flights at Dallas Love Field. Star-Telegram/Paul Moseley
Southwest Airlines reported record second quarter profits on Thursday as the Dallas-based airline continues to add flights at Dallas Love Field. Star-Telegram/Paul Moseley Star-Telegram

Southwest Airlines said it earned a record $608 million profit for the second quarter as the Dallas-based airline had lower fuel costs and fuller planes.

Revenues grew 2 percent to $5.1 billion in the quarter. Southwest continues to add near-international flights to its network and more destinations from its headquarter airport, Dallas Love Field.

“We continue to be extremely pleased with our development markets in Dallas,” Southwest chief executive Gary Kelly said. “They are remarkably strong, surpassing system average margins and returns.”

The airline plans to add a few more flights in August, bringing its total to 180 daily flights at Love Field.

Excluding one-time accounting items, Southwest said its second-quarter net income was $691 million, or $1.03 per share, beating Wall Street analysts’ estimates of $1.02 per share.

During the quarter, Southwest grew its capacity by 7 percent and increased its load factor by 0.7 percentage points to 84.6 percent. Even though the airline had fuller planes, its average passenger fare dropped 3.4 percent to $157.51 for the quarter.

“While some yield softness has continued into July, demand thus far remains strong,” Kelly said.

The airline also saved close to $500 million on its fuel costs, paying an average of $2.02 per gallon of jet fuel compared to $3.02 in the second quarter of 2014.

Southwest executives will discuss the quarterly results on a conference call at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday.

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