Southwest Airlines Co. recently cut 8,250 domestic operations for June — the latest example of an airline tweaking its schedule amid the uneven recovery from the pandemic.
The Dallas-based airline (NYSE: LUV) initially had 119,039 domestic flights scheduled for June — even more than the 115,213 flights for the airline in June 2019 — but Southwest recently trimmed that by 6.9% to 110,789, according to data from aviation data firm Cirium Inc. That’s still up by 12% compared with the 98,532 domestic flights the airline operated in June 2021.
However, those cuts spared Kansas City International Airport (Code: MCI), where Southwest is far and away the biggest carrier, with a 43.3% market share in 2021.
This June, the airline plans 1,590 flights, compared with 1,326 in June 2021 — that’s an increase of almost 39,000 seats. It’s also creeping back to prepandemic levels: Southwest had 2,084 flights at KCI in June 2019.
Airlines generally finalize their flying schedules 90 days before departures, but most of the nation’s other largest airlines didn’t make as large of an adjustment as Southwest in recent weeks.
Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) trimmed its domestic schedule by 517 flights. American Airlines Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL), which pulled back several times on its schedule in 2021 and early 2022, cut only 83 flights from its June schedule.