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Old 03-30-2020, 08:46 PM   #1  
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Default SWA CEO Seeks Cost Cuts, "In Intensive Care"

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/south...151739530.html

Southwest CEO Seeks Cost Cuts With Airline ‘Living Day to Day’

(Bloomberg) -- Southwest Airlines Co. is “in intensive care,” its chief executive officer said, urging employees to keep cutting expenses wherever possible as the new coronavirus continues to erode travel.

The U.S. discounter is evaluating the $50 billion federal program that will provide loans and cash payments to help carriers meet payroll and other employee costs. It’s premature to know “how we might fit into this” until the Treasury Department provides details, CEO Gary Kelly said in messages to employees over the weekend and Monday.

“We are in intensive care,” he said. “I don’t like being in intensive care, but we just have to admit that’s where we are.”

Like the rest of the airline industry, Southwest is getting slammed by the abrupt collapse in travel demand, with airplanes in some cases flying only a handful of passengers. Cost reductions Southwest already has made would help the carrier survive about six months of such a downturn, he said.

“We’ll come out of six months kind of bruised a little bit, but I don’t think we’ll be flat on our backs where we can’t get up,” he said. “If the loads continue where they are today for 12 months, that’s just impossible. There’s no way we can do that. We would run out of cash. Or we’d be in such bad shape at the end of that, that we would really be hobbled for the future.”

The government’s rescue program could require equity or other securities in exchange for assistance. Additional restrictions would apply, such as limitations on reducing payrolls and restraints on executive pay. The aid “isn’t a bailout,” Kelly said.

“It doesn’t eliminate our need to dramatically cut our costs,” he said. “Please don’t take your foot off the gas.”

The Dallas-based airline doesn’t want to temporarily shut down to save cash, in part due to the difficulty of restarting a 750-aircraft fleet, Kelly said. It won’t join some other carriers in dedicating aircraft to hauling cargo because Kelly doesn’t believe Southwest would make money doing so.

The company has cut 1,500 of its 4,000 daily flights and will reduce flying capacity 20% next month. Southwest plans to park about 50 of its older Boeing Co. 737 aircraft, in addition to 34 newer 737 Max planes that were already idled by a worldwide grounding after two fatal crashes, Kelly said.

The airline has frozen hiring and pay raises, may add an early retirement option to a voluntary leave program, and has cut capital spending “to the bare minimum,” Kelly said. Southwest secured a $1 billion term loan and has tapped out an existing $1 billion unsecured revolving credit facility.
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:51 PM   #2  
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Yeah okay, Gary. We’re flying airplanes that have a total of zero to a handful of pax onboard and you’re talking to us about cutting costs?

There really is is no need for more than 10% of the original flight schedule to be operating.
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Old 03-30-2020, 11:05 PM   #3  
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We were in an 800 yesterday. I added up the pax the aircraft had flown all the legs the entire day; we could have done it on one flight with 64 seats open.
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:39 AM   #4  
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Although is a serious situation and the future is still unknown to us, I believe SWA is poised to come out of it better than our peers.

But keep in mind that we come out of this straight into section six. GK is currently focused on survival, but the BoD still has FH in the background putting together the plan to use this situation against us when negotiations continue. They never put their game plan on pause, but capitalize on every situation for future leverage.
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:46 AM   #5  
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There must be something else going on here that I’m just not seeing. Over the last two weeks, I’ve flown 6 days, and no flight has had more than a dozen paying passengers. Usually the deadheading crews outnumber passengers by 2:1.

From what I can tell, Mr Kelly doesn’t seem to throw money away. Lining executive pockets with stock buybacks doesn’t count. It will be interesting to see the financial reasoning that’s keeping us flying these empty aircraft.

Here’s hoping it’s something that will benefit employees. At this point, hope is a plan.
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Old 03-31-2020, 07:10 AM   #6  
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Intensive care, but they let everyone pick up April open time, knowing they were going to turn around and cancel a ton of flights, pay protecting the stampede to fill schedules for free money.
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Old 03-31-2020, 07:14 AM   #7  
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Originally Posted by Bluetruth View Post
Intensive care, but they let everyone pick up April open time, knowing they were going to turn around and cancel a ton of flights, pay protecting the stampede to fill schedules for free money.
That pesky thing call a contract caused that. Are you suggesting the company cease following the contract.
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Old 03-31-2020, 07:16 AM   #8  
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Originally Posted by Psycho18th View Post
There must be something else going on here that I’m just not seeing. Over the last two weeks, I’ve flown 6 days, and no flight has had more than a dozen paying passengers. Usually the deadheading crews outnumber passengers by 2:1.

From what I can tell, Mr Kelly doesn’t seem to throw money away. Lining executive pockets with stock buybacks doesn’t count. It will be interesting to see the financial reasoning that’s keeping us flying these empty aircraft.

Here’s hoping it’s something that will benefit employees. At this point, hope is a plan.
That’s what I’m thinking. Something is up. Perhaps it’s just to show massive hemorrhaging until they shore up the grants and or loans and then they’ll right-size the schedule to meet demand.
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Old 03-31-2020, 08:44 AM   #9  
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That’s what I’m thinking. Something is up. Perhaps it’s just to show massive hemorrhaging until they shore up the grants and or loans and then they’ll right-size the schedule to meet demand.

I'm hoping it's to show potential shippers that we are still operating, as we try to quickly put together an ad-hoc cargo business. "we can get those packages on the next flight, leaves in 2 hours"
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Old 03-31-2020, 08:50 AM   #10  
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I'm hoping it's to show potential shippers that we are still operating, as we try to quickly put together an ad-hoc cargo business. "we can get those packages on the next flight, leaves in 2 hours"
it would be cheaper to park and then tell shippers "the flight has been sitting here, just waiting for this package"
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