Southwest Airlines flags govt shutdown impact; profit beats

Jan 24 (Reuters) - Southwest Airlines Co said on Thursday the U.S. partial government shutdown had knocked between $10 million and $15 million off its revenue so far in January as it reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit.

Earlier this month, Dallas-based Southwest said the shutdown was delaying its plan to launch service to Hawaii, which needs approval from federal government. Southwest was planning to start Hawaii service early this year.

But as the shutdown dragged into its 34th day, many federal workers, including those who oversee route authorizations and aircraft certifications, remained furloughed.

"We are anxious for the government to resolve this shutdown so we can bring low fares and a boost to Hawaii's travel and tourism industry," Southwest Chairman Gary Kelly said. 

RELATED: Take a look at the world's cheapest airline:

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Cheapest airline in the world

Tigerair Australia was recently named the cheapest airline in the world in a report by travel search company Rome2rio, with flights costing on average $0.06 per km (US).

Source: Rome2Rio 

Business Insider looked at what it's like to fly with the low-cost domestic airline that serves 13 destinations in the country.

Tigerair was once branded Australia's 'worst airline' but since it was bought by Virgin Australia Group in 2014, Rome2rio says the airline seems to have 'turned its fortunes around.'

Rome2rio said said in its report: "Following years of bad press (it was voted Australia’s worst airline three years in a row), it was bought by Virgin in 2014 who seem to have turned its fortunes around. It’s not often we say this, but sometimes cheapest can be best!"

You'll be welcomed aboard by its smiling fight attendants, if the airline's Instagram is anything to go by.
The cabin crew look pretty glamorous for a budget airline.

You'll just as often find suits commuting to business meetings on a Tigerair flight as you will sandal-wearing holiday-goers — as well as the odd local celebrity.

Above, Today Show hosts Richard Wilkins and Karl Stefanovic pose with cabin crew onboard a Sydney-bound flight.

Source: Escape

Melbourne Storm rugby players have been spotted travelling with the airline, too.

And by the looks of things, passengers have even been known to serenade the entire aircraft.

Tigerair said it recently installed slimline leather seats on its fleet which have adjustable headrests, additional storage pockets, and built-in tablet/phone holders.
It has also introduced a new 'Tigerbites' food market-inspired winter menu, that includes snacks such as a hot mac and cheese bake, bitesize chicken and chips, and a cinnabun for those with a sweet tooth...
...As well as Onyx espresso martinis (not pictured).
The crew definitely like a selfie.

So if you're ever in the country and looking for a cheap internal flight, you may want to give the carrier a go.


The fourth largest U.S. airline by passenger traffic forecast unit revenue, a closely watched performance metric that compares sales to flight capacity, to rise in the four to five percent range in the quarter, helped by healthy passenger demand and strong fares.

Dallas, Texas-based Southwest, which reported a 1.8 percent rise in unit revenue in the quarter ended Dec. 31, said net income fell to $654 million, or $1.17 per share, from $1.75 billion, or $2.94 per share, a year earlier.

The year earlier quarter included a tax benefit of $1.3 billion.

Total operating revenues rose 8.5 percent to $5.70 billion.

Analysts on average had expected quarterly profit of $1.07 per share and revenue of $5.67 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)

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