Southwest Airlines has been a strong growing company over the last 4 decades. Using its low-cost, no-frill, customer friendly, point-to-point operational strategy, Southwest has been able to sustain considerable growth over the years and reported straight profits since its inception. Southwest Airlines now has a market capitalization of $9.1 billion and is positioned as one of the strongest airlines in the struggling airlines industry. Over the last decade, many airlines have reported record losses in the US while many have filed for bankruptcy. However, Southwest has been able to remain profitable and continued to grow. However, with the airline reaching its maturity, it remains to see whether this growth can be sustained for the upcoming years. This external and internal analysis is aimed to guide the strategic management of company in understanding the environment its business operates in, and how it can respond to that environment by realizing its internal resources.
An evaluation of the internal strengths and weaknesses, and the external opportunities and threats is as follows:
1. Successfully adopted a cost leadership strategy.
The company follows the policy of no baggage …show more content…
The result is a loyal employee base that is willing to work hard to achieve the company's goals. Culture begins with strong leadership. CEO Herb Kelleher is known for his relaxed management style. Southwest was voted one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For in America" by Fortune magazine. Southwest implemented programs to retain employees, including the first profit sharing plan in the industry and a 401k plan that matches contributions dollar for dollar. Although 84% of the workforce is unionized, they share responsibilities (e.g., pilots handling baggage) and have flexible work schedules. Southwest shares information with all levels of employees so that they understand the company's
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Currently, Southwest Airlines Company achieved the higher net income in 2013 and widened its field of operations by the integration with AirTran Airways. It seems Southwest’s business is going pretty well. However, there are numerous problems from competitors who will cause negative effect on Southwest’ market leader position and market shares. This marketing plan will make a careful analysis of the current activities of Southwest Airlines Company, and then this marketing plan will create how the company develop Southwest’s market leadership and higher market shares within 5years.
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 (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.
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
American Airlines, Inc. (AA) is a major airline of the United States. It is the world's largest airline in regards to accumulated passenger miles. American Airlines took off on April 15, 1926 when Charles Lindbergh flew a bag of mail from Chicago to St. Luis in a DH-4 biplane. A year later the first passenger flight flew from Boston to New York, heralding the real first passenger airplane travel by American Airlines. A subsidiary of AMR Corporation, the head quarters of American Airlines is in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. American operates scheduled flights throughout the United States and flights to Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Japan, the
Economic, social-cultural, and technological forces are the external macro-environmental factors Southwest Airlines should be most concerned with. Weak economic growth reduces the purchasing power of an airline’s target market. Southwest, known for being a leader in low cost airline, provides flights at a higher frequency and capacity to attain profit. However, the company experienced increasing overhead through the lapse of long-standing fuel contracts, which previously helped provide a competitive advantage. This factor is also amplified by the growth the company experienced with success. Southwest is the fourth largest airline and has seen fuel cost skyrocket from 29 percent to 35 percent over a seven-year period.
The domestic airline industry transports 711 million souls a year. That translates into a staggering $709 billion a year revenue flow (statista.com). One firm, named Southwest Airlines, accounts for 18.3 percent of that market. That 18.3 percent market share places Southwest at the number two spot, behind American Airlines. How does Southwest Airlines successfully compete and thrive in this environment? How do they differentiate themselves from the hoards of legacy carriers? Southwest Airlines encapsulates its strategy in a simple statement: “Meet customers’ short-haul travel needs at fares competitive with the cost of automobile travel (Grant, p.23). As a pioneer in low cost air travel, Southwest has successfully brought down airfares through its short route point-to-point business model, “no-frills” service, single flight strategy, and highly productive employees (Cederholm, 2014). In the following analysis we will investigate Southwest Airlines standing within the industry as a whole and their differentiation models driving success. We will also identify the firm’s competitive advantages as they relate to similar firms in the industry.
Southwest Airlines represents a rather unique organizational force that has driven the company to success since its inception in 1971. One of the most unique features about the organizational structure is that it is largely decentralized and employees are openly welcomed to express their opinions on a wide range of organizational issues. However, despite the "hands off" management strategy, the company consistently ranks as one of the top airlines in regards to customer complaints; in 2008, for example, the company received 0.25 complaints on average for every one hundred thousand passengers who used the aviation services (Triangle Business Journal, 2009). This analysis will look at some of the organizational factors that have contributed to the success of Southwest Airlines over the course of the last few decades.
HR Policies and Leadership: The advanced employee training techniques and employee engagement is an important element of Southwest’s success so far. The exceptional customer service which differentiates SW from their competitors is attributed to their strong employee base. Herb Kelleher, a transformational leader, led the organization by maintaining a fun-filled culture. By creating a friendly working environment in the organization, CEO of southwest airlines was able to retain the employees in the organization. Employees were not only extrinsically motivated to be in the company but intrinsically motivated to be a part of the Southwest Airlines family. It was demonstrated from the fact that when there was a downturn, managers froze their salary for 5 years just to maintain
This short paper is an overview of Southwest Airlines, its strategy, and what role Human
This document shows a strategic audit of Southwest Airlines trying to state it’s current situation, corporate governance, external environment analysis (opportunities and threats), internal environment (strengths and weaknesses) and then showing an analysis of the strategic factors (SWOT). The document also discusses the different strategic alternatives (TOWS) and recommended strategy for implementation along with the implementation steps and how can the implementation be evaluated and controlled.
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
Upon review on a profile of a successful company we see Southwest Airlines as a prime example. Their ability to recognize weakness in their management system and adjust strategies has allowed them to emerge as a leader in the US airline industry. Southwest is the largest US low fare carrier with low fare rates, no additional fees and excellent customer service. Southwest Airlines currently has one of the most innovative management practices in the US to date. A review of the critical elements of Southwest Airlines proves to be effective and innovative.
Southwest Airlines was created in the late 1960’s by a businessperson Rolling King, and law school graduate Herb Kelleher, who sought a faster travel time between Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas (Dess, et al., 2014, p. C137). After overcoming all of the antagonism and legal problems of many major airlines, Southwest was able to take its first flight in 1971 (Dess, et al., 2014, p.C137). With a dedication and will power to grow the company, King and Kelleher sought out ways to increase growth.