Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) said in its guidance for the third quarter it expects operating revenue per available seat mile to increase in the range of 3% to 5% year-over-year.
The company said in a statement it now expected operating costs per available seat mile, excluding fuel and oil expense and profit-sharing expense, to increase in the range of 8% to 10%, year-over-year, compared with a previous estimate of 9% to 11%.
This improvement in the estimate is primarily due to the shifting of maintenance and technology expenses from Q3 to Q4, and “continued cost control.”
While the firm sees fuel costs remaining in the range of $2.05 to $2.15 per gallon in Q3, it pointed out available seat miles per gallon, a measure of fuel-efficiency, is expected to decline by 1% to 2% year-over-year. This is due to the removal of Southwest’s most fuel-efficient aircraft Boeing MAX 737 due to the jet’s worldwide grounding since March.
The carrier also warned it now expected year-over-year available seat miles, a measure of capacity, to drop by about 3%, versus previous guidance of a reduction in the range of 2% to 3%.
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