Southwest Airlines profit falls 9 pct as expenses rise

July 27 (Reuters) - Southwest Airlines Co reported a 9 percent drop in quarterly profit as its operating expenses increased.

The No. 4 U.S. airline by passenger traffic said its net income fell to $746 million, or $1.23 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $820 million, or $1.28 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.24 per share.

Operating revenue rose 6.7 percent to $5.74 billion.

Unit revenue, which compares sales to flight capacity, increased 1.5 percent. (Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)