Southwest Airlines reported a net income of $178 million for the full year 2008, compared to $645 million for the full year 2007. Excluding special items, 2008 net income was $294 million, compared to $471 million in 2007.
According to SWA, the results for 2008 included $1.3 billion in fuel hedging cash settlement gains. Fourth quarter 2008 financial highlights include the 71st consecutive quarter of profitability. Excluding special items, SWA recorded fourth quarter revenues of $2.7 billion, up 9.7 percent from the fourth quarter 2007.
Gary C. Kelly, CEO, stated: "We are very proud to report another profitable year in one of the most difficult years in aviation's 100-year-plus history. We certainly had our challenges in 2008, but thanks to the extraordinary efforts and Warrior Spirit of our people, we persevered to report our 36th consecutive year of profitability."
"We celebrated many operational successes throughout 2008 and enhanced our already exceptional Brand and Customer Experience. With one full year of our new boarding system and Business Select product offering, the Customer response has been overwhelmingly favorable. We've made significant advancements in our revenue management and network optimization capabilities. And, we've made great progress on the technology side to lay the foundation for improved Customer Service, a new southwest.com, a new Rapid Rewards program, and international codeshare agreements with WestJet to Canada and Volaris to Mexico,” Kelly said.
"Despite the difficult credit markets, we were able to boost our liquidity by $1.1 billion during the fourth quarter 2008 through several financing transactions to end the year with $1.8 billion in unrestricted cash and short-term investments,” Kelly said.