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Southwest Airlines Case Analysis Essay

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Southwest Airlines provides short haul, high frequency, point-to-point, low-fare services to and from 58 cities across the United States. The company is known for its low-cost fares and superior customer service in the airline industry. The company was started in 1971 with a motto still lived by today, "If you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make darn sure they have a good time doing it, people will fly your airline." This motto has been effective for the company because they recently reported their 58th straight quarterly profit.

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis describes the internal strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and
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Southwest was the first major airline to introduce a ticket-less travel option. The company eliminated the need to print a paper ticket altogether. The company also began using a computer reservation system to provide ticketing and automated booking services to customers. Together, with the above programs, the company created Internet ticket-less travel sales (Southwest 2005).
By 1999 Southwest Airlines was the fifth largest major airline in the United States. In 2000 the company flew more than 57 million passengers a year to 60 cities in the United States.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 severely affected the airline. On the morning of September 11, 2001 the Federal Aviation Administration suspended all commercial airline flights and Southwest did not resume flight operations until September 14. During this time Southwest canceled about 9,000 flights. After flights were resumed, revenues were severely impacted and ticket refunds increased. To aid the airlines affected by the terrorist attacks, the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act provided some compensation to qualifying United States airlines to help compensate for the losses (Southwest 2005).
Southwest Airlines did not let the events of September 11, 2001 affect their goals and began operating new non-stop services in 2003. During 2004 the airline added new flight services and also began offering Walt Disney World Resort Tickets on southwest.com. Also during
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