Southwest Airlines has reversed a $16 million loss recorded in the third quarter of 2009 to a $195 million profit, which the carrier says is a record for the company.
The $195 million profit excludes special items. Factoring in those items Southwest posted third quarter profits of $205 million.
Southwest recorded a 20% increase in revenues year-over-year to $3.2 billion as yields improved 14%.
Consolidated expenses at Southwest increased 7% to $2.8 billion as fuel costs increased 12% to $926 million.
Southwest also posted a healthy rise in its operating profits for the third quarter from $22 million to $355 million.
Carrier chief executive Gary Kelly says October's outlook is excellent, based on current traffic and revenue trends in what it typically a weaker travel period.
Southwest on 27 September unveiled plans to purchase low cost carrier AirTran Airways, which would result in immediate 25% growth for Southwest. The carriers are working to gain regulatory approval for the transaction.
Southwest ended the third quarter with a cash balance of $3.7 billion.