Southwest records deceleration in bookings due to Delta variant

    Southwest Airlines announced (11-Aug-2021) it has recently experienced a deceleration in close-in bookings and an increase in close-in trip cancellations in Aug-2021, which are believed to be driven by the recent rise in COVID-19 cases associated with the Delta variant. Southwest said if COVID-19 cases remain “elevated” in the near term and current revenue trends in Aug-2021 continue into Sep-2021, current 3Q2021 outlook for operating revenues has worsened by an estimated three to four points from previous outlook three weeks ago, compared with 3Q2019. Southwest‘s operating revenue outlook for Aug-2021 is impacted by less holiday travel, an estimated one to two point headwind, compared with Aug-2019 as the Labor Day holiday weekend falls in Sep-2021, whereas it was split between Aug-2019 and Sep-2019. The carrier added travel demand for the Labor Day holiday weekend remains “healthy, thus far”. [more – original PR]

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