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Southwest Airlines CFO: High Fuel Prices Likely to Kill Profit

Southwest Airlines CFO: High Fuel Prices Likely to Kill Profit

Laura Wright, the chief financial officer of discount air carrier Southwest Airlines, said during a recent conference that the company is not anticipating a first-quarter profit due to higher-than-expected fuel prices.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Wright said during the JPMorgan

Laura Wright, the chief financial officer of discount air carrier Southwest Airlines, said during a recent conference that the company is not anticipating a first-quarter profit due to higher-than-expected fuel prices.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Wright said during the JPMorgan Aviation, Transportation and Defense Conference that the carrier is expecting to pay $3.50 per gallon for fuel, which would be 15 cents higher than initial estimates.

"Fuel, unfortunately, is the story of the quarter," the CFO said in a webcast from the conference, according to the news source. "We had planned for stable, albeit high fuel prices. That has not held true."

Though the airline reportedly saw traffic increases in January and February, late February proved weaker, Wright explained. She said that bookings for March "look good," according to the news provider.

The airline's first-quarter troubles come as it recently announced it has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide a nonstop service between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, according to The Associated Press. 

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