Passenger revenue soars at Southwest despite hit from virus


A Southwest Airlines flight lands at General Mitchell International Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Milwaukee. Southwest will let unvaccinated employees keep working past early December instead of putting them on unpaid leave if they apply for an exemption on medical or religious grounds. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

DALLAS (AP) — Passenger revenue almost tripled and Southwest Airlines posted a smaller loss that most had expected in the third quarter despite the spread of the delta variant that slowed air travel again.

Net income was $446 million, or 73 cents per share, bouncing back from a loss over the same period last year. There were one-time costs that drove a per-share loss of 23 cents, but that’s not as bad as the per-share loss of 27 cents that Wall Street was expecting.

CEO Gary Kelly said it was a challenging quarter and COVID-19 quashed travel in August and September, but overall all there were encouraging signs that point to recovery.

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