Southwest is seeing "a modest improvement" in leisure passenger demand, the carrier reported in a Tuesday regulatory filing.

Southwest now estimates that August revenue will be down 70% to 75% year-over-year, which is slightly better than its previous estimate of 70% to 80%.

Booking trends have ticked slightly up for September, with operating revenues now expected to be down 65% to 75% for the month.

Southwest said it expects August load factors to be in the 40%-to-45% range on a year-over-year reduction in capacity of 27%. For September, the airline expects to decrease capacity by 40% compared with last year and to attain load factors of 40% to 50%. The carrier had previously planned a smaller September capacity decrease of 20% to 25%.

Southwest's report of a slightly improved booking environment aligns with broader data reported by ARC. Ticket sales by U.S. travel agencies were down 75.8% for the week that ended Aug. 16, an improvement from the 79.1% drop ARC reported two weeks earlier.


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