Crediting fuel hedging, capacity reductions by competitors and fare increases, Southwest Airlines overcame a difficult cost environment to post second-quarter net income of $321 million, up 15.5% from a $278 million profit in the year-ago quarter and a sharp contrast to US competitors reporting big losses. Chairman, President and CEO Gary Kelly called the quarter "very gratifying" and explained that a "burning cauldron of issues. . .including a weak economy and soaring operating costs. . .is ...

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