Southwest Airlines' Sustainability and Future Essay

Southwest Airlines' Sustainability and Future Essay

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Southwest Airlines’ Sustainability and Future

“The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit (Southwest Airlines, 2009).”
Since its conception in 1971 by founders Rollin King and Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines has stood by their mission statement. The simplistic belief of "If you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make darn sure they have a good time doing it, people will fly your airline (Southwest Airlines, 2009)” has served Southwest in becoming a major competitor in the airline industry. It is now the fourth largest airliner in the United States and ranked 267 on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations. From an operational base of three planes flying to three cities, Southwest Airlines now have fights going to 64 cities in 32 states and a fleet of more than 500 planes (Fortune 500, 2009). Presented are some numbers that will give a brief synopsis of the company’s operation: net income: $645 million; total passengers carried: 101.9 million; total RPMs: 72.3 billion; average passenger load factor: 72.3 percent, and total operating revenue: $9.9 billion. While the airline industry has been permanently altered by the events of September 11th, Southwest has remained profitable. They were the first airline company to utilize a frequent flyer. Southwest also pioneered the use of senior discounts, same-day air freight delivery services, ticketless travel, and many other innovative programs (Fortune 500, 2009). Southwest’s organizational structure mirrors an inverted pyramid. Management...

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...king of America's Largest Corporations. Retrieved January 11, 2009, from
Gittell, J. H. (2002, December 19). The Southwest Airlines Way. Retrieved January 11 2009, from McGraw-Hill: Professional:
Jones, D. (2008, March). New Test for Southwest Airlines. Retrieved January 12, 2009, from Procurement Travel: cid=Southwest-Airlines-discount-negotiations.Mar-08.28
Pae, P. (2008, March 30). Southwest Reaps Benefits of Fuel Hedging Strategy. Retrieved January 14, 2009, from Los Angeles Times Buisness:
Southwest Airlines. (2009, January 17). Southwest Airlines Co. Retrieved January 11, 2009, from

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