Southwest Airlines Stock Dips as Delays, Tech Issues Hit Industry


LUV stock - Southwest Airlines Stock Dips as Delays, Tech Issues Hit Industry

Source: Markus Mainka /

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) stock is under pressure Monday morning, down about 1% as delays and cancellations weigh on the stock price. However, it’s not alone. American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) and United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) are all down today due to similar issues. Together, U.S. airlines experienced over 9,000 delayed flights this weekend and more than 12,000 canceled or delayed flights. 

Southwest was hit the hardest, canceling 520 flights on Saturday and delaying 1,512 flights. That represents roughly 14% and 42% of its scheduled flights for that day, respectively. Roughly 400 flights were canceled on Sunday, amounting to about 10% of the airline’s schedule. Adding to weather-related travel disruptions, Southwest suffered from back-end technical issues as well, which added to its delays and cancellations.

The airline had to delay several flights after an overnight system reset issue caused by routine maintenance. The company tweeted its apologies and waived fare differences so customers were able to rebook online instead of calling. 

Florida is a top destination for many U.S. spring break travelers, but thunderstorms over the weekend caused a lot of flight delays and cancellations. Orlando alone saw roughly one-third of its outbound flights canceled, while about 42% were delayed.

With travel slowly getting back to pre-pandemic numbers, airline stocks and hospitality stocks have been trading better. However, staffing issues and rising oil prices are two notable headwinds for the airline industry. According to Spirit Airlines CEO Ted Christie, “The choke point has been in getting everyone trained as we’ve ramped the airline back up and returned aircraft to service throughout the pandemic.”

Shares of Southwest are up about 24% from last month’s low. However, the stock remains well below the 52-week high, currently down 29.5%. The latter performance slightly lags Delta and United, which are down roughly 25% from their 52-week highs, respectively. That said, Southwest is the best performer of the five major U.S. airlines since the pandemic began. Even though LUV stock is still down about 29% during that same time period. 

On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

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