The success of one of the most famous American airlines is based on low prices for tickets, orientation to flights only within the country and qualitative passenger service and corporate culture. It is thanks to these factors that Southwest Airlines managed to attract and retain its customers.
The history of this American budget airline began more than 40 years ago. Once, two businessmen sketched out a business plan for the future airline on a napkin in a Texas restaurant. They started with one very simple idea: they must deliver passengers to their destination on time and at the lowest possible price. Besides, they must be confident and they should have a good time on board. In this way, passengers will love to fly these airlines. Well, it took long three years to obtain the permission for flights from the US authorities. As a result, in 1971, a new airline company, named Southwest Airlines, launched its first flight from the Dallas Love Field airport.
The feature of the Southwest Airlines is a stress on the corporate culture. And now the current head of the company Gary Kelly continues the whole campaign called Love. According to the manager, this is a symbol of the highest attention to the customer service, which is based on warmth, friendliness, pride, and spirit of the company. It is noteworthy that both Wi-Fi and TV were recently incorporated on almost all sides of the Southwest Airlines. Also, there are new opportunities at registration, including the accelerated access system, and it only available for passengers of this airline company.
What is the secret of success?
The founders of Southwest Airlines expected to become successful due to low prices for tickets and flights only in the US. The gradual increase the number of both personnel and airplanes, as well as a high rate of shareholders, led the airline to the status of the most popular airline company in Northern America. Southwest Airlines is the oldest low-cost airline company around the world. To be noted that Southwest Airlines first invented the low-cost concept (the pioneer was the Californian PSA, which has disappeared in 1988). The company developed and brought to the success its revolutionary undertakings. Today, its business model is a classic, and all airline companies take an example from it.
Southwest Airlines has developed many innovations to the air transport industry. Many of the mandatory attributes of modern budget airlines were first tested and implemented in the Southwest Airlines. It was the first to refuse paper air tickets, it began to book seats via the Internet. The company began to use a fleet of only one type of the aircraft, apt to land in any free space in order to shorten the time for aircraft parking at airports. Southwest Airlines improved such a basic element of the concept as an offer of the route network for short flights. At the same time, for the rapid turnover of aircraft, the company manages to fly to second-rate airports. The high labor productivity is ensured by a unique corporate culture and a well-developed motivation system for the personnel. It became the first big airline company to introduce a profit sharing system among its employees.
In 1978, the US authorities passed the new “open skies” law, removing all restrictions on airlines licenses. In the fierce competition, Southwest Airlines became one of the winning air companies. The lowest prices for air tickets (generally, 2 times lower than on this market) enabled the company to expand its activities.
Actually, The Southwest Airlines Company is the world’s third -largest airline by the turnover of passengers. The airline’s fleet consists of more than 500 air crafts (only the newest model of Boeing-737. An attractive corporate culture and really low prices are main components of the Southwest Airlines success.