Southwest November Traffic Growth Outpaces Supply Increase

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Southwest Airlines Co. reported Wednesday a jump in a key airline metric for November, as traffic growth outpaced an increase in capacity. Load factor increased 1.8 percentage points to 85.1% from 83.3% a year ago, as traffic grew 7.2% to 10.4 billion revenue passenger miles and capacity rose 4.9% to 12.3 billion available seat miles. The air carrier now expects fourth-quarter revenue per available seat mile to decline in the 4.0% to 5.0% range. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has climbed 11% year to date, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has run up 24% and the S&P 500 has gained 8.2%.

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