Southwest and Delta Douse Hopes for Recovery in Q4. TSA Checkpoint Screenings Already Agree

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

The curious effect of the election and now possibly the surge in virus infections.

This morning, Southwest Airlines reported operational data for October and updated projections for the rest of the fourth quarter. It looks like the already miserably tepid recovery of the airline passenger business has stalled. Shares [LUV] are down 3.1% at the moment.

— In October, operating revenue fell about 65% from a year ago. And Southwest cut capacity, measured in available seat miles (ASM), by 44%.

— For November and December, it expects operating revenues to be down 60% to 65%. Given the shift in holidays, it expects to cut capacity by 35% in November and by 40% to 45% in December.

This 65% drop in revenues, and the more somber outlook, roughly matches the curious backsliding in passenger traffic that the TSA has been reporting recently.

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