Southwest sees milestone after booking unaided June profit

Southwest Airlines says that it turned a profit in June without assistance from the government, a result the company is calling a milestone in its recovery from the pandemic

DALLAS -- Southwest Airlines said Thursday that it turned a profit in June without assistance from the government, a monthly result the company is calling a milestone in its recovery from the pandemic.

For the full April-June second quarter, the airline's net income reached $348 million, reversing last year's loss in the same stretch. The three-month period included $724 million in federal help.

But Southwest CEO Gary Kelly highlighted the improving business at the end of the quarter.

“Second quarter 2021 marked an important milestone in the pandemic recovery as leisure travel demand surged," Kelly said. “We generated net income in June 2021, representing our first monthly profit without taking into account the benefit of temporary salaries and wages cost relief provided by” the government's Payroll Support Program.

The Dallas-based airline's second-quarter profit was 57 cents per share, but it was a loss of 35 cents per-share excluding the federal relief and other special items. That was worse than the per-share loss of 21 cents that Wall Street expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue, at $4.01 billion was better than projected, however.

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A portion of this story was generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on LUV at https://www.zacks.com/ap/LUV