June 19, 2024
Investment

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES COMMENTS ON LETTER AND PRESENTATION FROM ELLIOTT INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT


DALLAS, June 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today reiterated its willingness to meet with Elliott Investment Management L.P. (“Elliott”) to further discuss the airline’s strategy to enhance value for all Shareholders:

Southwest Airlines maintains an open dialogue with our Shareholders and values their perspectives related to enhancing Shareholder value. We were first contacted yesterday by Elliott.

Our Board and Executive Leadership Team are thoughtfully reviewing Elliott’s letter and presentation and look forward to further conversations with Elliott to better understand its view on the Company.

We are confident that Southwest Airlines has the right strategy, the right plan and the right team in place to drive long-term value for our Shareholders. We are focused on restoring our industry-leading financial performance, the successful execution of our multi-faceted Tactical Action Plan to improve operational performance announced in first quarter 2023, alongside recent technology investments and operational resiliency programs that led to the operation of 99% of scheduled flights in first quarter 2024. Our ongoing effort to optimize our network is addressing underperforming markets to better align capacity with observed passenger demand. We recently implemented a new revenue management system which, combined with our ongoing review of transformational initiatives, such as enhancing the Customer onboard experience, represent tangible steps toward achieving improvements in our financial and operational performance and positioning us for sustainable success in an evolving marketplace. The Company looks forward to sharing additional detail on our plan at Investor Day in September. 

The Southwest Airlines Board of Directors diligently oversees our strategy and Leadership Team and, based on the Company’s ability to overcome strong headwinds in the past, is confident in our CEO and Leadership Team’s ability to fulfill our strategy to drive long-term value for all Shareholders, safely and reliably serve our Customers, create new and exciting career opportunities for our Employees and serve the interests of all stakeholders. 

In recent years, our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee has also sought to identify prospective Directors with a view toward maintaining an effective mix of skills and experience, introducing fresh perspectives while balancing continuity, and continuing to strive for diverse representation. This focus on refreshment has resulted in the appointment of seven new independent Directors to the Board in the past three years.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Specific forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to(i) the Company’s expectations with respect to long-term value for Shareholders; (ii) the Company’s focus areas, goals, and strategies; (iii) the Company’s expectations with respect to operational performance; (iv) the Company’s plans and expectations with respect to its network and its network optimization efforts; (v) the Company’s financial outlook, expectations, goals, plans, and projected results of operations, including with respect to its initiatives, and including factors and assumptions underlying the Company’s expectations and projections; and (vi) the Company’s strategic initiatives, including with respect to enhancing the Customer experience, delivering operational excellence, creating meaningful revenue opportunities, expanding margins, and achieving return on invested capital. These forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s current estimates, intentions, beliefs, expectations, goals, strategies, and projections for the future and are not guarantees of future performance. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) the impact of fears or actual outbreaks of diseases, extreme or severe weather and natural disasters, actions of competitors, consumer perception, economic conditions, banking conditions, fears or actual acts of terrorism or war, sociodemographic trends, and other factors beyond the Company’s control, on consumer behavior and the Company’s results of operations and business decisions, plans, strategies, and results; (ii) the Company’s ability to timely and effectively implement, transition, and maintain the necessary information technology systems and infrastructure to support its operations and initiatives; (iii) the emergence of additional costs or effects associated with the cancelled flights in December 2022, including litigation, government investigation and actions, and internal actions; (iv) the Company’s dependence on Boeing and Boeing suppliers with respect to the Company’s aircraft deliveries, fleet and capacity plans, operations, maintenance, strategies, and goals; (v) the Company’s dependence on Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration with respect to the certification of the Boeing MAX 7 aircraft; (vi) the impact of fuel price changes, fuel price volatility, volatility of commodities used by the Company for hedging jet fuel, and any changes to the Company’s fuel hedging strategies and positions, on the Company’s business plans and results of operations; (vii) the Company’s dependence on other third parties, in particular with respect to its technology plans, its operational expectations, fuel supply, maintenance, Global Distribution Systems, and the impact on the Company’s operations and results of operations of any third party delays or non-performance; (viii) the impact of governmental regulations and other governmental actions on the Company’s business plans, results, and operations; (ix) the Company’s ability to obtain and maintain adequate infrastructure and equipment to support its operations and initiatives; (x) the Company’s ability to timely and effectively prioritize its initiatives and focus areas and related expenditures; (xi) the impact of labor matters on the Company’s business decisions, plans, strategies, and results; (xii) the Company’s dependence on its workforce, including its ability to employ and retain sufficient numbers of qualified Employees to effectively and efficiently maintain its operations; and (xiii) other factors, as described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10- K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023.

ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world’s most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports1 across 11 countries. Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline2. Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its more than 74,0003 People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among more than 137 million Customers carried in 2023. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years4 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship. As the airline with Heart, Southwest has set a goal to work toward achieving net zero carbon emissions by 20505. Southwest has also set near-term targets and a three-pillar strategy to achieve its environmental goals. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/planet.

1 Effective Aug. 5, 2024, the airline will serve 117 airports.
2 Based on U.S. Dept. of Transportation quarterly Airline Origin & Destination Survey since Q1 2021
3 Fulltime-equivalent active Employees
4 1973-2019 annual profitability
5 Southwest’s net zero by 2050 goal includes Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 Category 3 emissions only and excludes any emissions associated with non-fuel products and services, such as inflight service items.

SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.



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