Southwest Airlines reported a rare loss for its first quarter 2012 results with net income at $98 million which included $116 million (net) of favorable special items. This compared to net income of $5 million in the first quarter 2011. This included unfavorable special items totaling $15 million (net). Excluding special items, first quarter 2012 net loss was $18 million compared to net income of $20 million, Southwest said.
Gary C. Kelly, chairman of the board, president and CEO, stated, "Despite a modest loss, excluding special items, our first quarter results were notable, with outstanding revenue production and, except for jet fuel, better-than-expected operating costs. Record first quarter revenue results were produced with strong revenue management and network optimization, along with benefits from the AirTran acquisition and All-New Rapid Rewards. First quarter 2012 passenger revenues, on a unit basis, increased five percent compared to first quarter last year."
"The decline in operating income was driven by a $478 million increase in our first quarter economic fuel costs, compared to first quarter last year. Energy price increases continue to pressure costs, which only serve to reinforce our commitment to eliminate waste and maximize efficiency throughout our company." Kelly said.
AirTran Airways, Inc. became a wholly-owned subsidiary on May 2, 2011.