Southwest cash jumps to $3.5bn in Q1

Washington DC
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Southwest Airlines saw its cash balances increase by 11.1% to $3.5 billion during the first quarter.

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were up 11.4% from $3.14 billion at the end of March 2013.

Long-term debt less current maturities fell 0.9% to $2.17 billion during the quarter. Debt was down nearly 20% from $2.71 billion a year earlier.

Southwest prepaid $35 million of the outstanding $50 million on its fixed-rate 10.38% 717 aircraft notes due 2017 on 1 April, according to a stock exchange filing. The Dallas-based carrier incurred a one-time $5 million make-whole penalty from the deal but anticipates a $5 million reduction in interest expenses.

Capital expenditures totalled $407 million in the first quarter. This included the purchase of 27 slot pairs at Ronald Reagan Washington National airport from American Airlines and delivery payments for two new Boeing 737-800 aircraft.