Southwest airlines new challenges

Southwest travels to 93 destinations in 40 states, operating more than 3, flights a day, transporting more than million customers a year with the help of 45, employees. While other airlines have suffered bankruptcies and layoffs, Southwest has remained profitable for 41 consecutive years. With expansion to big-market destinations like New York and Washington, D. Additionally, Southwest has gone the extra mile by crediting all its creative partners:

Southwest airlines new challenges

Plagued by higher fuel prices and capacity issues, airlines in the U.

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The announcement comes hot on the heels of similar deals between Delta and Northwest and, more recently, United and Continental. In addition, the company will start moving further away from its long-running strategy of point-to-point service to second-tier airports.

As the airline expands, experts say, the challenge will be retaining its reputation in a sector prone to tumultuous business cycles. Southwest has grown steadily, thanks to a streamlined service model that employs only one type of aircraft and focuses on smaller airports with lower operating costs.

The company has also become known for relatively high employee morale and strong customer service. Southwest currently has limited presence at those airports because takeoffs and landings there are controlled by the slot system, a government-administered lottery designed to relieve congestion at busy airports.

For decades, Allen notes, Southwest has expanded largely Southwest airlines new challenges organic growth in small markets at airports on the fringe of major cities.

Using smaller, less congested airports allowed Southwest to turn its planes around quickly and keep costs down. Eventually, however, the company ran out of those opportunities and began to expand into major airports. The AirTran merger would give Southwest new or expanded presence in 63 markets including Milwaukee, Orlando and, most importantly, Atlanta.

The acquisition will give Southwest access to new customers by connecting passengers through the Southeast. Southwest was among eight of nine largest U.

Inthe company faced a safety investigation after one of its planes crashed in the Florida Everglades, killing all aboard. Headquartered in Orlando, AirTran has 8, employees and carried 23 million passengers last year.

Elizabeth BaileyWharton emeritus professor of business and public policy, says the proposed merger makes sense for both companies.

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A lot of their routes strengthen each other. Given its major presence in Atlanta, Delta would appear to be the legacy carrier facing the biggest competitive impact from a Southwest-AirTran merger.

But the effect may be minimal, at least in the short term. In light of the Southwest-AirTran deal and mergers between Delta and Northwest and United and Continental, observers are also watching for American Airlines to make a similar move. Another major change, Allen notes, is that AirTran will bring new types of aircraft into the Southwest fleet.

In addition, Keay noted in his report that most of the 31 overlapping routes served by both Southwest and AirTran are leisure markets where it is difficult to pass along price increases.

That is who we are. Baker predicted that, once the merger is approved, the costs and fares for all routes will be marked to Southwest levels.

Southwest airlines new challenges

But Todd Sinaia Wharton real estate and business and public policy professor who has done research on the airline industry, says that even before Southwest enters a market, prices begin to come down as competitors prepare to meet the challenge.

Despite consolidation within the market, the arrival of Southwest can lead to lower fares. Absorbing AirTran The biggest obstacle for Southwest post-merger will be bringing two different cultures into line, according to Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli.

Based on current operations, Southwest estimates that the combined company would have about 43, employees serving more than million customers at different airports four new airports are expected to be added in They just suffered through it. Airways and America West Airlines.

Managing seniority issues will be more difficult. No matter how good a merger looks to top executives on paper, Allen adds, the difficulty is in making it work after the deal goes through. Southwest has some past experience to draw from — the airline has made smaller acquisitions in the past, acquiring Muse Air inMorris Air in and ATA Airlines in While Southwest and AirTran are both considered discount airlines, Cappelli says the two companies do not operate with the same strategies.

Southwest relies on simple cost and fare structures, selling one class of tickets with no assigned seating via its own website, while AirTran has more differentiated service, selling tickets via third-party sites like Expedia and Priceline.

Southwest charges no reservation change fees or fees for up to two checked bags. Southwest officials have said that they plan to continue the no-fee policy after the merger.

As discount carriers, Southwest and AirTran compete for some of the same customers, and the rivalry has included skewering each other in recent television commercials.

AirTran produced a commercial showing people dressed as cows being herded onto the runway as an AirTran passenger watches from her first class seat while sipping a cocktail. Meanwhile, Southwest ran a commercial featuring pumped up Southwest baggage handlers heckling a rival plane that charged to check bags.Manage your Southwest Credit Card account online.

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You can also access your Rapid Rewards account on to view your rewards balance and view redemption options. While other airlines have suffered bankruptcies and layoffs, Southwest has remained profitable for 41 consecutive years. With expansion to big-market destinations like New York and Washington, D.C., and other growing plans, Southwest introduced yesterday a new logo, identity, and livery designed by New York, NY-based Lippincott.

(Additionally, Southwest has gone the extra mile by crediting all its . Southwest will add more than 30 routes this year by connecting the dots, as Parker says, and exploiting the longer range of new Boeing jets to fly a transcontinental route for the first time.

Crop One, a Silicon Valley food startup, and Emirates Flight Catering, one of the world's largest airline catering operators, are building an indoor farm that will produce three tons of greens daily. Aug 30, -Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today announced the beginning of its spring schedule and the addition of new international routes from key U.S.

gateway cities. The carrier extended its bookable flight schedule through April 7, , and flights are available to be booked today at Southwest announced Thursday that the airline's spring schedule for will include new international and nonstop routes. Travelers can expect new options for spring break and beyond from major.

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