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Southwest Airlines’ Shares Surge Following Buffett Takeover Rumor

Recently, Southwest Airlines shares increased over 4% following a rumor issued on Twitter that billionaire financier Warren Buffett needs to take over the other shares of the low-cost airline. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is Southwest Airlines’ second-biggest investor and had an 8.7% stake worth over $2.2 Billion, as reported by Berkshire’s annual letter. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is also one of the biggest investors in Southwest Airlines’ rivals United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines.

Reportedly, Southwest Airlines shares closed at $56.04. The airline recognized the report but refused to comment. In a statement, Southwest Airlines stated, “There has been conjecture circulating that Warren Buffett might be considering purchasing the airline for some time and that Southwest Airlines may be a good fit. As a rule, we do not comment on conjectures but acknowledge Berkshire’s constant support toward the company.” A year ago, Warren Buffett—Berkshire’s CEO—stated to CNBC that he “would not rule out obtaining an entire airline,” flaring some conjecture that Dallas-based Southwest Airlines can be the one as Buffett searches for a large deal. The speculation came a day after Southwest Airlines declared it finally obtained federal administration approvals needed to fly to Hawaii.

Similarly, Southwest Airlines was in news in recent time as the airline bagged the U.S. approval for Hawaii service. Southwest Airlines won an agreement from the U.S. FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to start flying to Hawaii from California, paving the way for the low-price carrier to move ahead with an important part of its 2019 development plan. Southwest Airlines—which is one of the biggest US domestic airlines—stated it will publicly declare the timing for selling tickets and starting flights to the Hawaiian Islands in the upcoming days. Reportedly, the airline will fly its Boeing 737 fleet from Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, and San Diego and intends to service Kahului on Maui, Honolulu on Oahu, Lihue on Kauai, and Kona on the Island of Hawaii.

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