Southwest expects ‘softness in bookings’ after fatal midair accident

Southwest Airlines has stated that last Tuesday’s fatal incident aboard Southwest Flight 1380 will likely result in a “softness in bookings” for its second quarter.

“Based on current bookings and revenue trends, the Company expects second quarter 2018 [revenue per available seat mile] to decrease in the one to three percent range” compared to the same time period last year, the carrier wrote in an earnings report released Thursday.


“Approximately one to two points of this estimated decrease is attributable to recent softness in bookings following the Flight 1380 accident.”

The company also said its unit cost, or the “total operating expenses per available seat mile” to rise based on factors including fuel costs, increases in salaries, and estimated costs “related to the Flight 1380 accident,” among others.

"It remains a somber time for the Southwest Family following the Flight 1380 accident, and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Riordan family, and all of our Customers on the flight,” Southwest CEO Gary C. Kelly stated at the start of the report, adding that the company is continuing to cooperate with the National Transportation Safety Board.

FILE- In this April 17, 2018, file photo provided by Marty Martinez, Martinez, left, appears with other passengers after a jet engine blew out on the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 plane he was flying in from New York to Dallas, resulting in the death of a woman who was nearly sucked from a window during the flight. Video inside the cabin of the recent Southwest flight that lost cabin pressure above 30,000 feet shows many passengers improperly placing oxygen masks on their faces, putting their lives at risk. (Marty Martinez via AP, File)

Southwest Flight 1380 made an emergency landing in Philadelphia when one of the engines blew, shattering a window and sending a passenger party out of the plane.  (Marty Martinez)


On April 17, Southwest Flight 1380 was en route from New York to Dallas when one of the engine’s fan blades failed due to “metal fatigue,” causing the engine to blow apart. Pieces of shrapnel shattered a window near Jennifer Riordan, who was partially sucked out of the aircraft.

Riordan was pronounced dead at a Pennsylvania hospital after the plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.