Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines both reported on earnings calls that they made a profit in the fourth quarter of 2021. While they said the first quarter of 2022 would be more difficult because of the Omicron variant, executives at both companies saw a rapid pickup in demand beginning in the near term. Alaska Airlines executives said the carrier would match 2019 capacity levels by this summer and exceed them in the fall. Ben Minicucci, CEO of parent company Alaska Air Group, said, “We do believe the virus will move to endemic status and that demand will ultimately stabilize.” The carrier reported net income of $18 million for the fourth quarter of 2021, compared with a net loss of $478 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines reported fourth-quarter net income of $68 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. Andrew Watterson, chief commercial officer, said business travel demand was down in December, but he added that corporate clients “intend to ramp up travel post-Presidents’ Day.” He said he expects first-quarter managed business revenues to be down 45% to 55% versus 2019, “and improve sequentially from January through March.” Watterson said clients are buying through multiple channels, explaining: “You take our largest corporate clients, and they will buy through SWABIZ, they will buy through our Direct Connect, and now they’ll buy through GDS as well. It depends on the travel purpose as well as the subsidiary or a population group within that company.”