Southwest Airlines External Analysis

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Executive Summary: Southwest Airlines has been making changes over the past few years that helped them become the largest low-cost carrier in the United States. Most other airlines have been struggling to make it through this economy, but Southwest has found a way to thrive. The airline has dropped their prices and eliminated fees for extras that have allowed them to fill up most flights. One cost they continue to struggle with is offsetting the increasing fuel prices. This has caused some airlines to merge or sell the company to competitors. Introduction: This document will be using Porter’s Five Forces Model and a Political, Economic, Social, and Technological (PEST) analysis to conduct an external analysis on Southwest Airlines.…show more content…
With the gas prices rising up every year, it seems like traveling by car is about the same price as flying. The big advantage over bus, car, and train is saving time which is huge to customers who cannot leave their job for a long period of time without being fired or replaced. Bargaining Power of Suppliers (medium)- As I stated before, Southwest Airline employees are the highest paid in the industry. The only employees who do not have unions backing them up and can request more money are pilots. This is because there are so many of them awaiting jobs. Another area Southwest has no power over are airplane manufacturers. Companies like Airbus and Boeing can pretty much charge whatever they want because of the experience and technological advances they bring to large aircraft development. Since there are a couple of suppliers, most of these manufacturers know if the deal is not attractive, then the airline will take their business elsewhere. Bargaining Power of Customers (high)- Customers has several options when it comes to flying. But the main attraction to customers are low prices and Southwest makes it known that they have some of the lowest airfares. The only way Southwest can take back the power is by offering direct flights to cities that other airliners do not offer. Besides the small occurrence of having a direct flight to a city that no other airline has, Southwest
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