Southwest Airlines

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's April 2001

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1. This article was an overview and summary of this economy airline carrier, Southwest Airlines. From modest beginning, and man who would be a celebrated CEO, this corporation is now a major competitor in this most lucrative transportation market.

2. STRENGTHS: a vibrant founder/CEO with a sense for conversation in growth and reinvestment of resources for internal improvement; low cost airfare; great frequency and reliability of service between destinations.

WEAKNESSES: initially the underdog in the airline world, without reputation; limited capital and resources to cover as many airports; relatively small fleet.

OPPORTUNITIES: not tied to the conventional practice of hub-based airport system, allowing for greater flexibility to customers; continue with fun and fresh image; societal shift to fly more often THREATS: rival airlines create economy programs that compete with Southwest Airlines premise of low-cost rates (such as Shuttle by United); the inherently turbulent nature of the travel industry and the economy as a whole.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN: Amidst ever-fluctuating fares and increased alliances and affiliations, there can be seen numerous developments in the airline industry designed to compliment the trends of a more mobile and connected culture.

SOCIAL: generation "X" has left college and is in the job market earning their own incomes, accommodating the growing tendency to travel; retired baby-boomers traveling also ECONOMIC: increase per capita income; marginally healthy economy (and interest rates); increasing automotive fuel prices world-wide TECHNOLOGICAL: aviation fuel more economical now more than ever because of improved methods of mixing; desire for en-route compatibility with high tech business equipment on flights COMPETITIVE: stable union/corporate relations currently; economy air fares compete quite well with cost of land travel (especially when "Time is money") REGULATORY: increasing freedom for international travel; increased FAA monitoring; currently no one dominate airline 4. RELATIONSHIP MARKETING / CUSTOMER VALUE The underlying success...