A Speech about Southwest Airlines

Essay by lihaobd July 2008

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Good morning everyone. Thanks for attending the Southwest Airlines' press conference.

Southwest Airlines (SWA) has a history of success and a bright future ahead. It was founded in 1968 by Rolling King and Herb Kelleher. There goal was to create an environment of care, commitment and unparallel service to customers and employees alike It initially served three cities, with a revenue of two million dollars. (www.southwest.com) In 1993 the airline served 34 cities, gradually expanding from the southwest to other areas as well (all within the U.S). The revenues grew to almost three billion. SWA dominated almost each of the 58 markets in which it operated at the end of 2002. For thirty two consecutive years the company has been profitable, and for twelve consecutive years it has been listed by the Department of Transportation among the top five of all major carriers for on time performance, best baggage handling and fewest customer complaints.

Currently SWA is the fourth largest carrier in terms of customers boarded. (http://www.answers.com/topic/southwest-airlines-co )SWA has an enviable record of constantly ranking among the top five major carriers in the Department of Transportation (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report, with recognition for on-time performance, best baggage-handling and fewest customer complaints. Customer satisfaction ranks highly and reviews in publications such as Fortune magazine and the Wall Street Journal put SWA in the position of being one of the most admired companies. Employment with the airline is highly sought after, with SWA willing to delay the purchase of new planes or office renovations in favour of protecting the jobs of their employees. This feeling of job security has led to high employee productivity and a fierce loyalty among staff.

The unique organisational culture at SWA is one that takes a laidback approach to formal management programs and documented...