Southwest continues to see Q4 RASM flat to up 2% vs. last year
Based on current cost trends, the company continues to expect fourth quarter 2019 CASM, excluding fuel and oil expense and profitsharing expense, to increase in the range of 4%-6% compared with fourth quarter 2018. The majority of the company's year-over-year unit cost increase in fourth quarter 2019 is driven by lower fourth quarter 2019 capacity as a result of the MAX groundings. The Company continues to expect annual 2019 CASM, excluding fuel and oil expense and profitsharing expense, to increase approximately 8 percent, year-over-year. Based on the company's fuel derivative contracts and market prices as of December 13, 2019, the company continues to expect its fourth quarter 2019 fuel costs to be in the range of $2.05 to $2.15 per gallon, including $.04 per gallon in premium expense, with no cash settlements from fuel derivative contracts. The company continues to expect its fourth quarter 2019 ASMs, or capacity, per gallon, or fuel efficiency, to decrease in the range of 1%-2%, year-over-year, primarily due to the removal of the company's most fuel-efficient aircraft from its schedule as a result of the MAX groundings.