How valuable is Southwest's fuel hedging program? The carrier paid $246 million for fuel and oil in the second quarter of 2004, up $52 million (27%) from the same quarter a year earlier. Hedging held these expenses down by $87 million in this year's quarter, $51 million more (142%) than in the 2003 period. Considering that about $2.5 million of this year's fuel cost growth went toward a 4.9% year-over-year increase in capacity, hedging reduced the price-driven second-quarter increase by more ...

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