Southwest Airlines is the latest carrier to put a price tag on the impact from the government shutdown.
The nation’s largest domestic carrier said the shutdown, which began Dec. 22, has cost an estimated $10 million to $15 million in lost revenue so far in January.
Last week, Delta estimated the shutdown will cost it an estimated $25 million in bookings per month as furloughed government workers and contractors cancel travel plans.
United executives declined to put a price tag on the damage and American Airlines did not mention the impact in its earnings release Thursday, but the company is likely to talk about it on a conference call with investors Thursday morning.
Southwest Airlines OKC CS&S Employees shared our Appreciation for our local TSA Officers. We recognized them by providing them breakfast and lunch today! #OCSpirit #SouthwestHeart ♥@SouthwestAir #SouthwestAir pic.twitter.com/bAWJ9v48aP
— Jessica (@yrkddng) January 16, 2019
The shutdown is having another big impact on Southwest: The airline’s plans to fly to Hawaii are on hold, executives confirmed last week.
The problem: The airline needs to complete the Federal Aviation Administration’s certification process for extended overwater flights, but the FAA workers who oversee those so-called “ETOPS” activities are on furlough.
Southwest received key ETOPS approvals before the shutdown, covering its manuals and proposed procedures. But the final steps, including “validation” flights, remain.
“We are anxious for the government to resolve this shutdown so we can bring low fares and a boost to Hawaii’s travel and tourism industry,” Southwest said in its earnings release Thursday.
Southwest also said it plans to end service to Mexico City on March 30.
During the shutdown, Southwest, like other businesses, has been treating TSA workers to lunch and other special events at some airports.
Source: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY
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