Higher fares, more full seats help push Southwest Airlines to record 2Q profit of $465 million

IndustriesAssociated Press

Southwest Airlines is reporting a record profit for the second quarter, more than doubling what it earned a year ago.

Southwest said Thursday that net income rose to $465 million. Excluding special items, the airline earned 70 cents per share. That beats Wall Street's forecast of 61 cents per share, according to FactSet.

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The company says it also set records for passenger fares per mile and the percentage of seats sold on its planes.

Southwest is in the midst of several big changes, including phasing out the AirTran Airways brand, starting international flights on Southwest, and expansion in Dallas and other key markets.

The shares are up 38 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $29.25 in trading before the opening bell.