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Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines 1st quarter helped by lower fuel prices

Southwest Airlines packed even more people on its planes, notched a record first-quarter profit of $511 million, and said solid bookings have continued into April.

The Dallas carrier topped Wall Street expectations, and Southwest shares rose on Thursday while every other major U.S. airline stock fell.

Southwest has been adding flights and bigger planes, contributing to investor concern about fast growth leading to lower prices. Indeed, Southwest's average fare dipped 3 percent to $153.75 each way.

Passenger traffic grew faster than Southwest added seats, however, and 80.5 percent of seats were filled on the average flight, a Southwest record for the first quarter in...

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