Environmental Analysis: Southwest Airlines

Essay by gdeschapellUniversity, Master'sB+, June 2014

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Environmental Analysis


Environmental Analysis


Environmental Analysis: Southwest Airlines

Environmental Analysis: Southwest Airline


Southwest Airlines Co. began its operations in 1971 and has been serving the industry for the past 43 years now (Southwest Airlines, n.d.). It is the major domestic airline, and ranked number one in 2014 by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (United States Department of Transportation, 2014). Back in 1971 the airline began its services in Texas in the cities of Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. The company has been ranked as the nation's largest low cost carrier (Mergent, 2012). It offers the lowest fares, and has the lowest cost structure in the industry.

Southwest Airlines Co. also acquired AirTran Holdings Inc. in 2011 and now owns AirTran Airways. The company has been ranked 9th among the 50 most admired companies in the world according to a survey by Fortune magazine (Fortune Magazine, 2013). Southwest uses the exchange symbol LUV on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

This paper will summarize an environmental scan of Southwest Airlines to include an analysis of the most important external environmental factors in the remote, industry, and external operating environments, the most important strengths and weaknesses of the organization, an assessment of the company's competitive position, and analyze the structure of the organization and how this affects organizational performance (University of Phoenix, 2013).

Political Factors

The Airline and Aviation industry underwent Governmental Regulations by the passage of the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 and the simultaneous creation of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). This Act enabled the CAB to control the service fares, the entry of new airlines from the market and the exit of existing airlines from the same, and the assigning of air routes to different airlines. Then the Federal Aviation Act was passed in 1958 and...