Southwest Airlines Essay

2390 words - 10 pages

Southwest Airlines started up in 1971 by Herb Kelleher and Rollin King. Their goal was to start a low cost airline which focused on short flights usually lee the 500 miles. Southwest Airlines has a fleet size of 477 and flies to 63 different destinations (www.southwest.com, 2006). "Southwest Airlines is based in Dallas, Texas, and is the third largest airline in the world, base on number of passengers carried (www.southwest.com, 2006)." Deregulation of the airline industry is one of the main factors towards Southwest's growth. When the airline industry became deregulated it allowed them to fly into markets that were closed to them, and controlled by only a few airlines. Southwest established a mission statement which still holds true today. "They are dedicated to customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual price, and company spirit (Smith, 2004)." Southwest is committed to providing employees with a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.Southwest Airlines business model is focused on keeping it simple. They attract customers by providing better deals then competitors and avoiding the frills that other airlines use, to help keep the cost down. Southwest feels that customers will go where the best price is, and will be repeat customers if they can get a good deal, yet still get the right amount of customer service. Southwest Airlines has continued to grow and remain profitable in times when other airlines are reporting huge losses, because of their business model. They have a great organizational structure, and put a lot of effort into their human resource management. The organization also has a strong focus on motivation and communication.Southwest Airlines has a unique corporate structure, which has become very successful and profitable, and is beginning to be copied by other companies all over the world. The Southwest motto when it comes to there business model is keep it simple. Southwest tries to make air travel cheap to the point where people who would have driven to a destination will now take their plane and fly. Southwest shad four revolutionary insights which helped make their plan for low fare flying a reality. "Flying just one type of aircraft will save a company millions on maintenance and bulk purchasing (Welch, 2006)." Southwest gets all their planes from Boeing, something they have done since they started. Flying just one aircraft limits the amount of time and money they need to spend on training and maintaining their fleet. Their second insight was taking advantage of smaller less congested airports, and flying non-stop from one airport to another. Southwest found that using smaller airports they can get more flights in per day. Spending less time on the ground waiting to get a plane turned around and ready for flight again saves the company money. The quicker they can get their plan back in the air the quicker they can get back to making money. "The average...

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