Southwest CEO: Rapid Rewards ‘biggest contributor’ to revenue performance in 1Q2021

    Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, on the company’s 1Q2021 earnings call, stated (22-Apr-2021) the carrier’s ancillary products, specifically commissions from car, hotel and vacation bookings performed “about in line with passenger revenue” in 1Q2021. Mr Kelly said: “The biggest contributor to our other revenue performance was our Rapid Rewards programme”, adding total revenue from the loyalty programme was down 19% year-on-year or 22% from 2019. He stated: “The sequential improvement from [4Q2020] was primarily driven by increases in retail sales and commissions on new card acquisitions”. Southwest‘s total co-brand card spend in Mar-2021 was only down 1% from Mar-2019 and for the first time since the start of the pandemic, credit card portfolio size grew in 1Q2021 relative to 2019.

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