The Success of Southwest Airlines
In the mid 1960’s, Rollin King, an owner of a small commuter air service from San Antonio Texas realized the inconvenience and expense of travelling between San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. Through the urging of his banker and his own vision, Rollin King decided to start an intrastate airline. King first pitched his plan to Herb Kelleher – a San Antonio attorney who had performed previous legal work for King. King’s proposal was to focus on the three-city, Golden Triangle of San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston, all of which were experiencing rapid growth and development. King’s research determined that the three cities were far enough apart in distance between one another that air travel could possibly become the preferred method of transportation over busses and cars. Kelleher agreed to learn more about King’s proposal and the two decided to discuss King’s plan in more detail over cocktails. With nothing but a pen and a cocktail napkin, King proceeded to draw out his idea on that cocktail napkin and eventually Kelleher was on board. In 1967, with only $560,000 Air Southwest Co. was incorporated.
In 1971 after several years of battling legal issues with competing airlines, Southwest finally got off the ground with three destinations and three planes. The business plan from the very beginning was to provide low fares, on time schedules, and excellent customer service. Southwest’s first service began between Dallas and Houston. Shortly after beginning that service, Southwest management noticed all the major airlines were beginning to pull out of Houston Hobby Airport. Realizing Hobby’s close proximity to downtown Houston attracted Sou...
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...uld be an honor to be both a customer and an employee of this fine organization.
Freiberg, K. & Freiberg, J. (1996). Nuts! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success.
Southwest Airlines Company History and Profile. Retrieved 11/2011 from http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Southwest-Airlines-Co-company-History.html
PBS, Chasing the Sun. Retrieved 11/2011 from http://www.pbs.org/kcet/chasingthesun/innovators/hkelleher.html
Avstop.com, History of Southwest Airlines. Retrieved 11/2011 from http://avstop.com/history/historyofairlines/southwest.html
Southwest Airlines, Fact Sheet. Retrieved 11/2011 from http://www.southwest.com/html/about-southwest/history/fact-sheet.html
Southwest Airlines, Our Culture. Retrieved 11/2011 from http://www.southwest.com/html/about-southwest/careers/culture.html
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