South­west flies lower

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - BUSINESS -

South­west Air­lines’ shares sank Wed­nes­day af­ter it re­ported a 34 per­cent drop in third-quar­ter profit on fall­ing fares and higher costs. The com­pany also gave a weak rev­enue fore­cast for the rest of the year.

The Dal­las-based air­line said that over­all pric­ing re­mains “soft.” The av­er­age fare on South­west — one of the few air­lines to dis­close that fig­ure — fell 5 per­cent in one year to $147. As a re­sult, pas­sen­ger rev­enue per avail­able seat mile dropped, as it did at American Air­lines, Delta Air Lines and United Air­lines.

In­vestors had hoped to see signs of an end to a two-year-long slide in prices caused by the car­ri­ers adding more seats than could be ab­sorbed by de­mand.

South­west shares fell 9 per­cent Wed­nes­day, lead­ing other air­line stocks lower too.

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