Essay on Southwest Airlines Case Analysis

2097 Words Mar 10th, 2013 9 Pages


This case analysis looks at Southwest Airlines and how the company is in a vital financial position. The analysis was done using news articles, the company’s website and finance websites. The research was used to focus on how they have a strong employee to company relationship and customer to company relationships that they do not want to jeopardize and ruin but they need to bring forth $100 million without laying off employees and losing customers due to raising fare prices. This analysis shows how Southwest is looking into new ideas that will enhance the brand and in the long run make them successful.

Executive Summary
Rollin King and Herbert D. Kellher
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Southwest has experienced remarkable growth by continuing to convert cities to Southwest service by purchasing four Air Tran cities for $1.4 billion in 2011. Although this was a smart choice to continue to grow, spending over a billion dollars hurt them financially. They predicted around election time that consumer demand would improve having them gain more revenue, but there predictions were wrong causing them to still be financially tight. In April, Charlotte, N.C., Flint, Michigan; Portland, Maine; and Rochester, N.Y. will be converting to Southwest service. Fuel costs remain a major concern for the entire airline industry. Southwest paid $3.16 per gallon for jet fuel in the third quarter of this year, $1 more than last year, and expects to pay $3.45 per gallon in this year’s fourth quarter. Although airlines are converting to more energy efficient planes, fuel is about 35% of the airlines total operating costs. According to Martin (2012), “Airfares are not rising as fast as fuel costs, partly because airlines realize that passengers will use alternatives if flying becomes too expensive.”
Southwest was one of the most fuel sophistry airlines, but the continuing uprising fuel costs made the airline improve the fuel efficiency of its fleet by purchasing new Boeing 737-700s. They chose to purchase instead of rent to improve cash reserves and have less debt to total capitalization compared to other