With passenger demand for leisure travel gradually picking up, Southwest Airlines says it now has enough cash to stay afloat for the next two years. It currently has nearly $14 billion in cash and short-term investments, and it's burning through it at a rate of about $20 million per day.
Rival American Airlines said last week it expects to halt its daily cash burn by the end of this year partly due to improved travel demand.
Southwest also said it'll keep the middle seat vacant to maintain distancing at least through September 30. It'll limit bookings on its flights to avoid crowding cabins. And customers can pick their own seat; Southwest won't block or direct seating.
Safety measures like social distancing are helping carriers restore confidence in air travel. Delta Air Lines has also pledged to block middle seats through September, and JetBlue Airways has extended its social distancing measures through early July.