WASHINGTON—A trio of unusual events took a toll on Southwest Airlines’ first-quarter (Q1) financial performance and is driving unit costs up, but long-term fundamentals remain strong, as does the airline’s confidence in the beleaguered Boeing 737 MAX. The airline’s unit costs excluding fuel, special items, and profit-sharing (CASM-ex) jumped 8.1% to 9.35 cents. The increase was driven primarily by maintenance- and weather-related flight cancellations in February and ...

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