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Southwest Air Knocks Industry Optimists: ‘We’re Not in Control’

  • CEO sees airlines at mercy of pandemic’s ‘twists and turns’
  • American, JetBlue also express caution, in contrast with Delta
A traveler speaks with an attendant at the Southwest check-in area at Oakland International Airport in California, on Jan. 19.

A traveler speaks with an attendant at the Southwest check-in area at Oakland International Airport in California, on Jan. 19.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Southwest Airlines Co.’s chief executive officer had blunt words for industry peers who have predicted that carriers will stop bleeding cash this year, saying it all comes down to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The fact of the matter is, we’re not in control,” Gary Kelly said Thursday in an interview with Yahoo Finance after Southwest reported earnings.