Skift Take

The airline business has never been been geared toward executives afraid of a fight. But airline fare wars that loom coming out of the pandemic could be in a category all their own. Will Southwest's infrastructure and operating mode put it in a better position than others?

Southwest Airlines Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said on Friday he expects a “brutal low-fare” environment when traffic returns after coronavirus-induced restrictions ease.

“There are far more airplane seats right now, and there will be for some time, than there are customers,” he said in a video message.

“Our low-cost philosophy, strategy and structure will serve us very well.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought air travel to a virtual halt, leading to an unprecedented number of flight cancellations globally and resulting in airlines booking hefty losses.

Airlines have been operating about 90% fewer flights than normal but they are gradually adding flights back to their schedules as demand is starting to pick up. (Reporting by C Nivedita and Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

This article was from Reuters and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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Tags: airfares, coronavirus, southwest airlines

Photo credit: Southwest Airlines aircraft cleaning process features an electrostatic sprayer system. The airline expects a fare war when the coronavirus-recovery kicks in. Southwest Airlines

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