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Southwest Essay

4955 words - 20 pages

Southwest Airlines
Christopher Slusser
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Southwest airlines are currently the dominating airliner in the United States. Many other companies have tried to join Southwest in their current dominance, but have not held up to their standards. This paper will take a deep look into what and how Southwest operates in order to keep themselves a head of the game. A broad explanation of their current management style and where they plan to be in the future will touched on. To be at the top, Southwest has taken an in depth strategic planning and the willingness to do the impossible.

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Southwest’s current mission is to give ordinary people the opportunity to fly. Through this they plan to deliver their services with a strong sense pride and company spirit. The consumers that choose to fly with Southwest are the main focus. Fares are left small so everyone has the chance to fly. On the flights all individuals get treated equally with the upmost level of respect. This mission creates an environment that individuals want to be a part of and will take that into consideration when planning trips within the US.
The vision of Southwest is to expand their locations both domestically and overseas by being the largest most profitable airline company to achieve both short and long-haul flights efficiently and with low cost” says Flint P. (2005). They plan to continue to grow and capitalize in areas that other airliners lack. Their best interest is to keep expanding conservatively and focus on the long-haul. Southwest tries to slowly grow, while focusing on their client basis, to guarantee their longevity for years and years to come. The fear of getting too big to soon keeps them in a conservative operating strategy.

Decision Making
Southwest Airlines is one of the most booming airlines today and has been for the last 31 years. Southwest is clearly doing something right in their strategic decision making process! They have created a sound and secure business model that is unmatched by any other large airliner. Many other airliners have tried to clone Southwest’s business strategies but have failed. They have remained successful by offering unique options to the consumer.
Southwest’s strategies focus mainly on operational issues. One operational decision is that they only fly one aircraft. This gives them an advantage by cutting down on training and all maintenance costs. When maintenance crews are only working on one type of aircraft, they can easily access and fix many reoccurring issues. Low maintenance hours produce more flight hours. One aircraft does not only benefit maintenance crews, the pilots are more comfortable also. Comfortable pilots make flights easier to operate and issue less of a hassle.
Southwest also only use smaller less congested airports. Flying into lower traffic airports allows them to have shorter turnaround times. This will create more flights and more flights mean more money. Even the consumer benefits from less congested airports. The hassles that come from flying are less harsh at smaller less congested airports. With Southwest making their flights better for the consumer, of course business is booming.
Southwest also eliminated meal service and assigned seating. This will allow the aircraft to be tuned around more rapidly. We talked about it earlier the faster the bird is flying the more money is rolling in. Eliminating meals cuts down on operating cost and with Southwest shorter flight schedule it really does not create an inconvenience for the consumers.
Southwest operate on a structure...

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