Gary Kelly Is Just A Big Tease


Well, if I thought Southwest Airlines was going to give more details on just what they are going to do in regard to seating and boarding procedures, (which was highlighted in their press release), or that they were going to give more details about how they are going to go about attempting to “woo more business travelers,” in the meeting with analysts or in the press conference later, I was sorely mistaken.

Or, as Dan McKenzie, analyst with Credit Suisse said in his research note this morning, “Mgmt was purposefully vague & simply offered to release more details later this year.”

As McKenzie noted, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said yesterday that the airline is: committed to adding $1 billion in ancillary revs/yr by 2010  (but didn’t say how); slowing growth in 08 given a more cautious economic outlook (now 19 net deliveries vs. 34 previously); more upbeat about summer traffic trends; planning a new scheduling initiative that should result in better profitability; committed to more share repurchases; & continuing to target a 15% profit margin.

One good piece of news that came out yesterday on a local level for those of us still hanging on in New Orleans. Southwest is upping its flights from New Orleans to a number of destinations. More flights, especially nonstops, to anywhere, are much appreciated.

In looking over the list of flights Southwest is beefing up — it’s clear that as we had said earlier both here and in PBB, after it was clear a number of longhauls were about to be whacked — it appears the airline is adding capacity to shorter-haul flights. And to Denver. Wow — that big increase in service out of Denver cannot be good news for the folks at Frontier.

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