In the three months ended December 21, the Dallas-based carrier saw unit revenue per seat rise 1.9%. The figure for that metric is expected to climb by another 1-2% in 2018 as well.
However, the stock tumbled in early on Thursday morning as it reported a 2.7% fall in average passenger fares, adding to growing fears of a price war in the sector.
Southwest shares lost 3.8% to US$59.82; although it wasn’t the only airline diving on Thursday. JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) Delta Air Lines Inc (NYSE:DAL) and American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL), among several others, were also nursing sizeable losses.
Back to Southwest and net income rose to US$1.89bn, or US$3.18 per share, largely driven by a one-time tax benefit of US$1.4bn thanks to the recent reforms.
Operating revenue also rose 3.9% to to US$5.27bn.
Excluding items, Southwest earned US$0.77 per share, slightly ahead of Wall Street expectations for US$0.77 a share.