Southwest: '08 Fuel Costs Could Rise by $500 Million


Southwest Airlines said after markets closed Thursday that its 2008 spending on jet fuel could rise more than $500 million from last year because of rising oil prices.

Southwest Airlines.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Southwest said it had hedging contracts in place for more than 70 percent of its expected jet fuel consumption in 2008 at an average price of about $51 per barrel of crude oil.

"Based on this current outlook, Southwest has reduced its previously planned growth rate for 2008," the company said, adding that it would increase its fleet by a net seven aircraft this year.

Shares of Southwest closed Thursday up 3.52 percent at $12.94.