Southwest Airlines

Case Study
Pages 7 (1757 words)
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Southwest Airlines is known as a different airline. It is one of the few airlines in the industry which is consistently profitable. Most attribute it to their remarkable cost saving mechanisms, but as this case study will show there is considerably lot more to it.


Most businesses are customer centered. Customer comes first regardless. Not so, Southwest airlines, where customer actually comes in second. The employee comes in first. Clearly this is against convention ("rules") but it does achieve quite a bit. Southwest Airline employees are one of the most motivated and productive work force in the industry and this results in happier customers as well. The airline attained success which is primarily due to its highly motivated and productive workforce. They have fewer employees per aircraft, fly fewer passengers per employee and have more available seat miles per employee. Because of the highly motivated workforce its turnaround time is much less compared to competitors who also enhance its productivity in terms of equipment utilization. SWA has achieved the Triple Crown (best on-time performance, fewest lost bags, and fewest passenger complaints-in the same month) nine times, which is a rare feat. Happy employees translate into happy customers. The other thing is Unions. Unions have always been a problem in the airline Industry. But for Southwest airlines they are actually a strength. SWA is a case study where Union and the management are not adversaries but partners in a successful business.
The Hierarchy of SWA is also different. ...
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