Southwest Airlines

1033 Words5 Pages
Southwest Airlines
William F. White
Grand Canyon University


Southwest Airlines took their first flight in June 18, 1971. The company got underway more then four years earlier but had a number of tough lawsuits against them before they were able to get their first plane up in the air. Southwest Airlines began serving the Texas cities of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. And then in 1979, Southwest Airlines finally made their first voyage outside of Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana.
In an industry that saw an entire industry literally destroyed by the events of 9/11, airlines were filing bankruptcies, most notably United Airlines. Southwest, on the other hand, has constantly made a
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Back in the past when it looked foolhardy to have no assigned seating or low prices, Kelleher stuck by his philosophy and produced an airline that many are trying to emulate.
3. Employees. Because of a well trained and a caring staff, passengers enjoy a good traveling experience. Heskett (2004) states that Kelleher 's philosophy was to treat the employees great and in return the employees will take care of the company. To show his solidarity toward his employees, when SWA offered a five year pay freeze to their pilots he also took a salary freeze. That freeze cost him almost $100 million.
To ensure that Southwest Airlines sustains their competitive advantages, it is up to the employees and the management to stay true to their business model of giving their customers a cheap ticket, on-time flights and great service. The search for employees must be thorough, and must go further than most companies to ensure the "culture" can be adopted by the new people. If they do that, than they might have another thirty years of consecutive profits.

Herb Kelleher has seen many years of continued success for Southwest Airlines. His vision saw low prices, no frills and great service be the secrets to their success. In particular, it was Kelleher 's obsession with human capital that saw SWA through the 1970 's recession, the luxurious 1990 's and the devastation of a country following 9/11 as having thirty consecutive years at making a profit for

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