Southwest reports RPM, ASM increases in March 2017 compared to prior year

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) flew 11.3 billion revenue passenger miles (RPMs) in March 2017, an increase of 3.9% from the 10.9 billion RPMs flown in March 2016, the airline said.

Available seat miles (ASMs) increased 4.5% to 13.4 billion in March 2017, compared with March 2016 ASMs of 12.9 billion. The March 2017 load factor was 84.1%, compared with 84.6% in March 2016.

Based on these results, the company continues to estimate its first quarter 2017 operating revenue per ASM (RASM) will decline in the 2-3% range, as compared with first quarter 2016. Bookings and unit revenue trends for second quarter 2017 remain strong.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) operates a network of 101 destinations in the United States and eight additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season. Its 53,000 employees serve more than 100 million customers annually. As of December 31, 2015, it operated 704 Boeing 737 aircraft.