Southwest Airlines Co.
has withdrawn its 2020 financial guidance “due to the rapidly changing environment as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves,” the airline said in a filing Monday. “The company has experienced more dramatic declines in passenger bookings in March and second quarter 2020, as well as an unprecedented increase in close-in trip cancellations,” Southwest said in the filing. Southwest said it will “soon” reduce flight schedules, which will reduce capacity by at least 20% from April 14 to June 5, and will continue to evaluate further flight schedule cuts, it said. Southwest is implementing a hiring freeze and offering voluntary leave, “aggressively evaluating all capital spending, discretionary spending, and all non-essential costs for near-term cost reductions or deferrals,” it said. Shares of Southwest rose 2% in the extended session after ending the regular trading day down 9%. Southwest join four major U.S. airlines in curtailing capacity and costs as U.S. air travel grinds to a near-halt due to the novel-coronavirus pandemic.