Southwest News Conference Today


The pre-press conference release is out on today’s upcoming analyst and press conference with Southwest CEO Gary Kelly.

According to the release,

“The airline will slow its fourth quarter 2007 available seat mile growth and optimize its flight schedule. In addition, Southwest announced it now plans to grow its fleet in 2008 by 19 net aircraft, 15 fewer than was previously reported. Kelly said slowing capacity growth will allow the carrier time to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of several initiatives Southwest intends to launch in fourth quarter 2007.

“Given the slowing U.S. economy and fuel cost pressures, we are taking these steps to adjust our capacity growth rate, which will help to restore profit growth,” Kelly said. “If we find that conditions change, we will reevaluate our growth plans for future periods. In this economic environment, we simply need to take less risk and grow more slowly.”

“For both fourth quarter 2007 and full year 2008, we currently plan to grow available seat miles (ASMs) year-over-year by approximately six percent, or about two percentage points less than previously reported. We also plan to implement a variety of revenue-enhancing initiatives by the end of 2007 that set the stage for continued profitability into the future,” he said.

    During fourth quarter 2007, Kelly said Southwest plans to:

    *  Slow its available seat mile (ASM) growth to approximately six percent

    *  Enhance its low-fare structure

    *  Enhance its Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program

    *  Launch a new advertising campaign

    *  Unveil a new boarding/seating method”

Unveil a new boarding/seating method? OMG! NO!  Tell me this isn’t so! ;-(

Kelly is holding a press conference/analyst call today at 12 noon Herb time (CDT). The call will be available as a webcast shortly thereafter on the airline’s website.

Unfortunately yours truly will be on her way to the airport at noon, dropping off my niece so she can catch her flight on ….Southwest Airlines back to Tampa.  Ms. Haley came in to visit with her grandmother Monday. I think PlaneMom was the happiest I’ve seen her in months yesterday. Granddaughters have the ability to make that happen.

Good stuff. PlaneMom deserved a nice surprise.

But no question — as soon as I get back to the Worldwide Headquarters this afternoon, I’m pulling up the webcast of the press conference and taking a listen.

Talk to you guys later. Try to behave in the meantime.

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