AirTran Parent Company, Southwest, Posts Record Profit
One day after Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines announced a record profit, Southwest Airlines, AirTran’s parent company, followed suit.
Southwest pulled in a net profit of $152-million for the first three months of 2014, even with significant losses from a long, harsh winter.
“The bad weather definitely cost us, but we still managed to stay on plan," said Southwest CEO Gary Kelly on an investor conference call.
Much of that plan included further dismantling AirTran.
“Published flights are rapidly coming down in the AirTran brand and coming up in Southwest Airlines," Kelly said. "The commercial aspect of the integration will be done by year-end.”
Southwest’s integration of AirTran hasn’t gone as quickly as first indicated.
Once AirTran goes away, so will its Atlanta hub.
Airlines Flying High
Overall, the nation's airlines are as strong as they've ever been. One exception -- Chicago-based United, which posted a $609-million loss for the first three months of 2014. The airline blamed weather-related cancelations for much of the poor showing.
JetBlue barely made money—but it made it through March some $4-million in the black.
American Airlines, fresh into its merger with US Airways, made $480-million—also a record.
On Wednesday, Delta Air Lines posted its best-ever first quarter with a net profit of $213-million.