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US Airline Bailout Helps Southwest Post $116 Million Profit

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A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 passenger plane takes off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Southwest Airlines Co. on Thursday, April 22 reported first-quarter net income of $116 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. The Dallas-based company said it had profit of 19 cents per share. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(AP) — With help from Washington, Southwest Airlines is the first major U.S. airline to report a profit since the pandemic started. Southwest said Thursday that it earned net income of $116 million in the first quarter. Without federal payroll aid for airlines, however, Southwest would have lost $1 billion. Southwest is echoing rivals in saying that demand for travel is continuing to improve. Southwest says bookings for leisure trips within the United States have been improving each week since mid-February. Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly says he believes the worst of the pandemic’s impact on travel is behind us.

 

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