WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of Southwest Airlines Co. said Aug. 4 he has seen "some softening" in business-travel demand this summer.
That's bad news for the industry, which relies heavily on business travel to keep ticket prices firm after Labor Day when the peak leisure-travel season end. Revenue growth remained strong in July, but August and September has slowed, said
Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly, on a conference call. Close-in bookings, or tickets purchased close to departure and typically by business travelers, have declined, he said. Investors have been selling off airline stocks for nearly a month on concerns economic growth will slow and fewer people will fly.