Southwest Airlines lifted its guidance for how many seats it can fill in the second quarter on Tuesday.
Southwest (ticker: LUV) said it expects its load factor for the quarter to be as high as 87%, up from an April estimate of about 85%. It said bookings for travel remain strong. The carrier maintained expectations for operating revenue to be 12% to 15% higher than in the same period of 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
The statement comes after more than 5,000 flights were canceled over the busy Father's Day weekend as airlines struggle to overcome staff shortages. Many carriers have cut the number of flights running over the summer to keep them running smoothly.
Southwest shares rose around 2% in premarket trading, but reversed course after the market open to fall 0.7%. The stock gained 1.9% on Friday, but is down about 17% this year.
Travelers are returning to the skies for summer vacations after years of lockdowns to contain the pandemic, and business travel may also be rebounding. Airlines are still being held back by reduced capacity and skyrocketing fuel costs.