Southwest Airlines managed to stave off rising unit costs and a 79.6% jump in fuel expenses to record a first-quarter profit of $61 million, up 3.4% over the $59 million earned in the three months ended March 31, 2005. The carrier also announced yesterday that it will exercise options for 79 737-700s for delivery from 2007 through 2012, bringing its firm orders to 140. Southwest's quarterly revenues topped the $2 billion mark for the first time, increasing 21.4% to $2.02 billion. Expenses ...

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