NEW YORK, April 26 (Reuters) - Southwest Airlines on Thursday reported an 18 percent increase in quarterly net profit, as strong demand and changes to the U.S. corporate tax code boosted its bottom line.
Southwest, the carrier at the center of a deadly mid-flight engine explosion last week, posted a profit of $438 million, excluding special items, up from $372 million a year earlier.
"It remains a somber time for the Southwest Family following the Flight 1380 accident," Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said in a statement. "We continue to cooperate with the National Transportation Safety Board's thorough investigation to understand the cause of the accident." (Reporting by Alana Wise; editing by Jason Neely)