Southwest Airlines Changes Its Schedule

Southwest Airlines' schedule is being reduced and expanded. The changes are being made in response to a new shifting dynamic for greater leisure travel.

Southwest stated on its earnings conference for the current quarter that it expects to make $500 million from the changes to eliminate certain midweek flights and add almost 20 destinations.

Southwest CEO noted that while corporate travel is expected to recover, it is recovering at a far slower rate than pleasure travel.

Southwest, for example, is increasing its flights to Phoenix, Arizona, as well as its flights to Florida.

As American Airlines strives to expand its Phoenix hub, the company confronts growing competition.

To make place for the new destinations, Southwest will reduce capacity on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which have traditionally been popular business travel days. 

Southwest stated that by reducing business trips, it will have more planes available for leisure routes rather than business routes. 

Some changes were apparently motivated by a desire to exceed a quarterly profit, which exceeded Wall Street projections by $60 million.

Southwest also experienced a well-publicized holiday disaster that lasted until the New Year.

Following the release of its quarterly results last week, the airline's stock price fell by over 9%.