Southwest Airlines : A Low Cost Airline Operating Essay

Southwest Airlines : A Low Cost Airline Operating Essay

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Southwest Airlines was established in 1967 as a low-cost airline operating just in the state of Texas. Today, Southwest Airlines is the largest domestic carrier in the United States employing more than 46,000 employees and operating 3,600 flights per day (Southwest, 2014). Southwest is also the largest operator of Boeing 737 aircraft in the world with over 680 in service operating an average of six flights per day each (Southwest, 2014). Under its original name, Air Southwest Company, Southwest Airlines was founded by a group of Texas investors that put together $560,000, to form a small airline to serve the cities of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. By the summer of 1971, operating under Southwest Air, the airline owned three aircraft and was operating hourly flights between Dallas and Houston, later completing the “triangle route” to San Antonio (Southwest, 2014). Southwest Airlines did not produce its first profitable year until 1976 when it serviced cargo between the cities it served. The airline later expanded services to the Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, El Paso and Austin. It wasn’t until 1979 that Southwest flew outside the state of Texas serving New Orleans. In 1980, Southwest started service to Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Albuquerque. Over the years Southwest would expand to several cities servicing 103 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico encompassing approximately 3,600 daily flights (Southwest, 2014).
Southwest maintains high profit earnings despite being heavily unionized. Using high level aircraft and employee productivity with minimizing cost by reducing aircraft turnaround time at the gate, Southwest was able to generate an op...


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...14). Having an entire airline’s fleet composed entirely of Boeing manufactured airframes only made business sense to partner with this aviation giant in an effort to streamline maintenance processes. Airplane Health Management uses real-time airplane data to provide enhanced fault forwarding, troubleshooting, and historical maintenance information. This powerful maintenance decision support solution delivers valuable information when and where it 's needed, by converting data into useful information to support "fix-or-fly" operations decisions that can make the difference between profit and loss (Rice, 2014). With access to real-time advanced diagnostics and prognostics to drive predictive maintenance, operators can now identify issues before they become problems – all resulting in reduced schedule interruptions and increased maintenance and operational efficiency.

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