Essay title: Southwest
Southwest Airlines faced many barriers to entry from the fierce competition of other airlines in the industry.
Though competition was fierce, Southwest Airlines managed to succeed by doing things differently.Their mission was to provide affordable air travel to those who would not normally fly.Contradictory to the rest of the airline industry, Southwest maintained a profit while keeping its fares low.
Southwest was unique to the industry in two ways.They focused on the short haul traveler and used a point-to-point method of flight connections. The short haul traveler is the backbone in which Southwest was built upon.The market for short distance airline flights was large enough to allow Southwest to maintain a profit for over 30 consecutive years.
Shorter flight times allowed for more flights to take place per day.With the industry average sitting at one or two flights per day, Southwest set itself leaps apart by averaging 10 to 12.Maximizing utilization and minimizing ground time were the key elements to Southwest’s profitability.
If the short haul passenger was the backbone of Southwest Airlines success, then their 737s were the lifelines that supported it.By choosing the 737 as the airplane for all of Southwest’s flights, the company saved time and resources in training its employees.The crew could be easily substituted for one another due to the extensive training on the 737.Low costs and, therefore, low fares are an enormous competitive advantage, when combined with their high-quality and loyal workforce.A very unique culture was found at Southwest Airlines among all of its employees.
The company generated a culture around prioritizing their workers over their customers.This family oriented atmosphere that was created enabled worker retention and customer service to skyrocket. Southwest was ranked number one among all major US carriers several times on a customer service as well as safety, price, on time performance, and baggage handling basis. Though Southwest has many extravagant features to its organization, it does not go without some flaws of their own.Some of Southwest’s prices cutting policies were also some of their weaknesses.Unlike their competitors, Southwest does not offer first class seats on any of their airplanes.This may have potentially caused Southwest to lose first class customers to rival airlines.Since their flight times usually run less that an hour, Southwest implemented the policy of not providing meals on their flights, another potential loss of customers.Also, around 1997, Southwest’s.