Southwest Airlines warns coronavirus rebound is fading
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A new Defense Department study found that filtration is better on planes than at home or in operating rooms, making the risk of contracting coronavirus very low when traveling. FOX Business’ Jeff Flock with more.
Southwest Airlines Co. says a pickup in bookings over the past three months is slowing as a second wave of COVID-19 infections sweeps across the country.
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The spike is aggravating a slowdown the Dallas-based airline had expected to occur around the U.S. presidential election, executives said in a regulatory filing that described a "deceleration in improving revenue trends for November and December."
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A record of nearly 143,000 new COVID-19 cases was recorded on Thursday, an 89% rise from the previous peak of 75,687 set on July 16. More than 10.4 million Americans have been infected with the virus while 241,800 have died.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought air travel to a near standstill earlier this year as governments ordered people to eliminate nonessential travel.
TSA checkpoint traveler numbers plunged by as much 96% year-over-year in April and have slowly been recovering, returning to 38% of last year’s numbers.
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Southwest said it expects operating revenue to be 60% to 65% of last year and forecasts a similar weakness in December.
Fourth-quarter capacity will be 40% below a year ago, and the airline sees the potential for a slight improvement in January.
Southwest received $3.3 billion of assistance in July as part of the government’s bailout for the industry. Another $94 million of payroll assistance was allocated by the Treasury Department in September.
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Shares were down 20% this year through Wednesday, underperforming the S&P 500’s 11% gain.
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