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Southwest warns about drop in bookings after fatal engine failure

Southwest Airlines says second-quarter revenue will likely decline as a result this month’s in-flight engine failure that killed a passenger.

A fan blade on one of the Boeing 737′s engines broke off during the April 17 flight from LaGuardia to Dallas.

Premium: Southwest Airlines engine failure emergency landing 180417

A Southwest Airlines jet sits on the runway at Philadelphia International Airport after it was forced to land with an engine failure, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 17, 2018.

Dominick Reuter | AFP | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines warned on Thursday that reservations have declined in the wake of a deadly in-flight engine failure aboard one of its flights.

Shares were 2.4 percent lower Thursday after Southwest forecast a decline in second-quarter revenue of 1 to 3 percent.

“Approximately one to two points of this estimated decrease is attributable to recent softness in bookings following the Flight 1380 accident,” Southwest said.

CEO Gary Kelly told CNBC in an interview Thursday that “a little bit of softness is to be expected” and noted that the company had pulled all of its marketing and promotions following the incident.

The company is in the midst of a fan-blade inspection program that has lead to the cancellation of scores of flights.

Southwest CEO on engine incident, inspections and growth

A blade on one of the Boeing 737-700′s engines broke off when the plane was flying above 30,000 feet, sending shrapnel flying and puncturing a window. The flight for Dallas from New York’s LaGuardia Airport an emergency landing in Philadelphia. One passenger, bank executive Jennifer Riordan, was partially sucked out of the opening and died.

It was Southwest’s first passenger fatality from an accident in its history and the first such fatality aboard a U.S. airline since 2009.

Last week, U.S. and European regulators mandated more stringent checks on the fan blades of the engine type that malfunctioned on Flight 1380. That came after the engine’s manufacturer recommended inspections of fan blades on a larger group of engines than it had called for last year.

CNBC reported Friday that CFM International, maker of the CFM56-7B engine, had been planning to issue such guidance before the incident on Flight 1380.

Kelly said Southwest expects to finish its engine inspections by the end of May and that checks on about 80 percent of its fleet since 2016 have been completed.

“I’m pleased with the results that we’re seeing so far,” Kelly said.

Southwest is revamping its fleet with a new variety of fuel-efficient Boeing 737s. One new destination that those aircraft will likely serve is Hawaii. Southwest said Thursday that it plans to start selling flights to Hawaii, which it announced last year, sometime in 2018. The airline will fly to the Honolulu International Airport, Lihue Airport, Kona International Airport and and Kahului Airport, Southwest said.

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Flights to Florida


Flights to Florida

Florida is a favourite with UK families, but this state isn’t all about Orlando theme parks. It is also home to stylish Miami, the laid-back Keys and the wild Everglades. There are direct flights to Florida all year round, travelling to a number of destinations up and down the state – though some, including Orlando, are very seasonal and see both choice and prices fluctuate significantly.
Most of Florida is a huge peninsula extending south from the US, with the Atlantic to the east, the Caribbean to the south and the Gulf of Mexico to the west; little wonder, then, that it’s a favourite for beach holidays.
How can I find cheap flights to Florida?There’s no getting around it: it can be tricky to find cheap flights to Florida from the UK. It helps to avoid UK school holiday dates, but bear in mind that winter sun and domestic travel also make much of Florida popular at Christmas and New Year too.
If you do have to travel in July or August, book as early as you can and look out for cheaper indirect flights, which can offer big savings on direct ones. You can often pick up cheap deals on flights between September and November – but while the weather is still warm, bear in mind that this is hurricane season.
Making the most of your time in Florida For many UK holidaymakers Florida begins and ends with Orlando: the city of theme parks, roller coasters and sprawling malls. But the Sunshine State is an incredible natural playground too, with a coastline of almost 2,000km (1,350 miles) trimmed by thousands of barrier islands. It’s home to the vast Everglades wetlands and to Biscayne National Park, a popular spot for scuba diving.

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The Cheapest Time to Buy Airline Tickets for a Summer Vacation

The Cheapest Time to Buy Airline Tickets for a Summer Vacation

If you’re a remotely savvy traveler, you understand the flurry of flash sales and budget hacks that can get you on board flights without going broke. But seasonal fluctuations are a very real thing in the airline industry, so it’s worth knowing when exactly to home in on that discounted airfare with an expert’s precision.

CheapAir.com’s Annual Airfare Study can help you do exactly that. It offers insights as to when you should book a flight during certain times of year, based off scrupulous research. Combing through 921 million different airfares(!), the study concludes that the lowest airfare for a given trip changes 71 times, or just about every 4 ½ days throughout its lifespan.

But when should you book that big trip for summer? After all, the majority of Americans enjoy a relaxing sojourn in the months of July, August, June, and September — in exactly that order. According to Cheap Air, the ideal time to book a summer vacay is 76 days, or 2.5 months in advance of the trip. Or, as the study tells it:

“Prime Booking Window is 21 – 140 days from travel. In this pricey season, one positive is that the Prime Booking Window starts earlier than in other seasons and you can still get good fares later in the season if you are willing to be flexible with southwest airlines, flight times and number of connections.”

What’s more, Cheap Air even lists the cheapest dates per month in its summer airfare calendar, and they are as follows:

June 6, June 14 and June 20

July 4, July 9, and July 19

August 22, August 23 and August 26

September 12

It’s worth noting that fluctuation varies widely in this window, as the “difference between the best and worst priced days is a whopping $250!” the study notes. Still, relying on stable intel is far better than waiting for some fleeting deal to crop up before it quickly disappears.

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