January 23, 2009 7:09 AM

Southwest Airlines plans to shrink for first time in history

Southwest Airlines plans to shrink this year for the first time in the company’s history as it navigates a stormy financial environment. The Dallas-based discount carrier, which carries more passengers than any other U.S. airline, reported a $56 million loss for the fourth quarter, only its second quarterly loss ever. Southwest blamed the loss ona sharp fluctuation in fuel prices.

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