Southwest Airlines is a major US airline established in 1967 that services a multitude of cities in all 50 states and beyond. The company is known for its outstanding quality in providing services and it 's cost effective ticket prices to its many passengers throughout the nation. This airline is based in the southwestern United States, in the city of Dallas Texas, and due to the tremendous number of airplanes that it has and the timely service that it provides to its passengers, this airline services more US passengers than any other airline. This airline also has the largest fleet of planes of any economical or low-cost airline service in the world and employees more than 45,000.
Southwest Airlines: Culture, Values and Operating Practices (in Thompson, A. A., Strickland. A. J. and Gamble, J. (2005) Crafting and Executing Strategy (Fourteenth Edition), McGraw-Hill, New York, pages C-636– C-664).
Despite historic successes, Southwest Airlines is facing certain challenges threatening future financial security. Firstly, Southwest’s traditional competitors have formed strategic mergers with other carriers, increasing their efficiency and lowering costs. These mega-mergers include Delta/Northwest, Continental/United, and American/US Airways. Secondly, smaller companies such as JetBlue, Alaska, and Sprint have been able to enter the industry successfully and are directly competing with Southwest’s low-fare focus. Lastly, though Southwest has been praised in the past for being innovators in embracing technology and automated processes, its lack of updating to the newest and more efficient technologies are a cause of concern according to some customers and critics.
This short paper is an overview of Southwest Airlines, its strategy, and what role Human
This paper will give a historical overview of the company, discuss the ingredients to the company success, offer some financial strengths and present a final conclusion. Section I: Southwest's History Twenty-seven years ago, Rollin King, a San Antonio entrepreneur who owned a small commuter air service, and Kelleher, who was a lawyer at the time, got together and decided to start a different kind of airline. They began with one simple notion. If you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make certain they have a good time doing it, people will fly your airline. And you know what? They were right. Within those 27 years, Southwest Airlines became the fifth largest major airline in America. Today, they have flown over 50 million passengers a year to 54 cities all over the southwest and beyond. They do it over 2,300 times a day with over 267 of the newest jets in the nation and fly only one type aircraft; the B-737. The average age of their fleet is only 8.4 years and they own over sixty percent of them. In May 1988, they were the first airline to win the coveted U.S. Department of Transportation Triple Crown for a month - Best On-time Record, Best Baggage Handling, and Fewest Customer Complaints. Since then, they've won it
Today Southwest Airlines is the biggest domestic passenger carrier in the United States of America operating more than 3,400 flights a day. They provide service to 93 cities and 5 countries internationally. Last year Southwest Airlines, “Enplaned approximately 136 million Customers (About Southwest). The airline has grown since it’s first years flying out of Love Field in Dallas, Texas. In the beginning, Southwest provided flight service to only three Texas cities in 1971. One of Southwest Airlines’ early advertisements was a double page ad that ran in Dallas newspapers during May announcing their first flight on June 18, 1971 (Lusk). This advertisement introducing a new airline would soon revolutionize the airline industry and create the new category, of low cost carrier, to the world.
The next section investigates Southwest Airlines’ use of information technology. It describes the specific applications of technology through the 12 digital themes of technology, and touches upon how this technology has helped Southwest Airlines become so successful. The final section discusses whether or not Southwest Airlines gained a competitive advantage, and if they are in a stronger or weaker position because of this.
Southwest Airlines possesses a very flexible and dynamic organizational structure that allows it to react rapidly, adapt swiftly and view environmental changes as opportunities rather than threats. After September 11, many companies went bankrupt due to this there was an unmet demand of flights. Southwest has taken the need of people to fly faster from one place to another and used it to their advantage by offering safest, fastest and cheapest way. The improved website can help attract more customers. As, it uses only one kind of aircraft its engineers can model an alternative fuel to lower fuel cost and conserve the environment. As proven
Southwest Airlines embodies the best that a large company can be. The structure is designed to allow quick action and support of its large body of employees rather than complete control and bureaucratic red tape. It is widely recognized as one of the most desirable places to work and is constantly emulated by its competitors, not to mention other business not in competition. It is an entity that holds its employees in the highest regard, even above its external customers. Its culture is unique and strong and based on love and respect. Even after its current leaders are gone, the
Southwest Airline’s low-cost fare structure and customer service has been its primary core-competency and has enabled the airline to maintain its market share while sustaining its competitive advantage over its rivals for over 40 years. This internal analysis will provide a review of the strengths and weaknesses of events that occur within the firm along with a financial analysis assessment and recommendation for future decisions.
Southwest Airlines Co., established in 1971 by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher, began its operations with only three Boeing 737 aircrafts. It is headquartered in Dallas, Texas(Hawkins, Misra, & Tang, 2012). Southwest is well known as one of the largest low-cost carriers. With this strategy, the company has dramatically grown up and deeply rooted in the US airline industry. Now, Southwest Airlines Co. operates 633 aircrafts to 93 domestic cities and the highest number of passengers used Southwest Airlines to fly around U.S in Jan 2014 (Hawkins, Misra, & Tang, 2012). To accomplish more than 40th consecutive years of both profitability and competitiveness, Southwest Airlines Company is constantly trying to find the routes to differentiate itself from other domestic carriers (Hawkins, Misra, & Tang, 2012).
This proposal addresses the needed steps to be taken in order for Southwest Airlines to see continued growth in the airline industry. Southwest Airlines has been able to remain one of the most profitable airlines in the industry for an extended period of time. Even with the hindrance of the 2001 terrorist attacks involving airplanes and the U.S recession of 2008, Southwest has continued to see strong revenue growth. Meanwhile, other companies were experiencing major losses and in some cases folding. Southwest Airlines has capitalized on the company’s strength of being the top low cost
Southwest Airlines (SWA) maintained a low-cost, low-price and no frills strategy. The small Texas carrier began as a concept, its business plan detailed on a cocktail napkin in 1971 and grew into the nation’s fourth largest airline. Known as an innovator with low operating costs, dominating smaller airports, with a humorous customer service, SWA saw its 40th profitable year in 2013. Like all companies, SWA underwent leadership changes in 2001, and said goodbye to the company’s founder in 2008. Unfortunately, the changes in leadership were not the only changes; the organization proceeded to alter their beliefs and activities.
There have been few inventions to change how people live and experience the world considerably as the creation of the airplane. Today, traveling by air has become the norm and it would be difficult to imagine life without it. Air travel has improved the way people are able to conduct business by shortening travel time and changing their thought of distance. The companies within the airline industry exist in a very competitive market. One of those companies, Southwest Airlines, features low-fare, no-frills air service with frequent flights of mostly short routes. Costs are kept down by the exclusive use of Boeing 737 aircraft, which allows for low maintenance costs and quicker turnaround times for flights, and by an emphasis on ticketless travel (Encyclopedia Britannica). This paper will address two segments of the general environment and how they affect Southwest and the airline industry; evaluate how Southwest has addressed two forces of competition; predict what Southwest might do to improve its ability to addresses these forces; assess the external threats affecting Southwest; discuss Southwest’s greatest strengths and most significant weaknesses; determine Southwest’s resources, capabilities, and core competencies; and analyze their value chain.
Southwest Airlines Company (Southwest Airlines or ‘the Company’ SWA) is a passenger airline that provides scheduled passenger and freight transportation services. The Company primarily provides scheduled services throughout the US and near-international markets. It is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and employs 48,000 people and serves over one hundred million customers annually (“Southwest,” 2015). Southwest Airlines has accumulated over forty years of revenue and is one of the supremely flown airlines in the United States of America (Dess, et al, 2014, p. C137). Recognized for dominating the national or domestic airline market, Southwest Airlines’ diligence has built an