Southwest Airlines Reports 2005 Profit

Southwest Airlines posted significantly improved earnings for the fourth quarter and the full year of 2005, its 33rd consecutive year of profitability. Annual net income was $548 million, up from 2004 net income of $313 million. Despite an unexpected retroactive TSA security fee assessment, and a 39 percent increased in hedged fuel costs, fourth quarter earnings were up more than 40 percent. The airline posted a record fourth quarter load factor of 69.6 percent at improved yields, which were up 4.2 percent. The airline said the outlook for first quarter 2006 is favorable. It also expects to add 30 more new aircraft this year.

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