Southwest Airlines has announced its second-quarter profit doubled to $760 million. However, the airline warned that rising costs are expected to continue in the second half of the year. Fox 4 reports that Southwest Airlines shares fell 7% during trading on Thursday.
The airline industry has seen air travel bounce back this year from pandemic levels, and that is true for Southwest's leisure travel within the United States. Fox 4 says ticket demand continued into the third quarter. However, costs are increasing as well. Southwest has said its fuel spending doubled from a year ago. Spending on wages and benefits increased by 21%, accounting for $400 million in a year.
Southwest and other major carriers are still dealing with increasing canceled and delayed flights this summer. Fox 4 says that Southwest CEO Robert Jordan said the airline had to cope with inflationary pressure and operate at suboptimal productivity. The industry is recovering from the pandemic. Both American and United recorded their first profitable quarter, which doesn't include government aid. However, the airlines are not in the clear, international travel has not completely recovered and consumers are paying more for groceries and gasoline, leaving less money for traveling.
Southwest is continuing to hire pilots and other workers as it looks to recover after a bad summer in 2021. Fox 4 reports that Southwest expects to add over 10,000 jobs but will slow hiring in the second half of the year. The third quarter is expected to see fuel costs increase by 12% to 15% per mile.