Southwest says grounded jets contribute to lower revenue

DALLAS (AP) β€” Southwest Airlines says thousands of canceled flights, including 2,800 due to grounding its Boeing 737 Max 8 jets, are contributing to weaker bookings and $150 million less in first-quarter revenue than previously expected.

The airline expects to cancel 9,400 flights in the quarter, which ends Sunday. Some have been caused by bad weather and others by maintenance issues it blames on contract negotiations with union mechanics.

As a result of those and other trends, the company on Wednesday lowered its forecast for a key revenue measure. Southwest said in a securities filing that it’s reducing its schedule through April 20. It predicts a pickup in the second quarter.

The hit to revenue was anticipated on Wall Street. Shares rose almost 3 percent Wednesday.

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