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Southwest Airline Case Study

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Southwest Airline Case Study

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  • April 13, 2008
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History
Southwest Airlines has been a model of admiration for the airline industry and businesses from around the world combined. Southwest Airlines is a rag to riches story that has had to fight for everything it has become. Before Southwest was able to take on its first passengers, they had to fight competitors in the court system for nearly three and a half years. In 1966, Fortune Magazine states, “A San Antonio lawyer, Herb Kelleher, founded Southwest with one of his clients (now a Board member) over drinks at a local bar.” Southwest was started in a bar on a cocktail napkin. Fortune Magazine quoted Mr. Kelleher, “it was at the St. Anthony’s Club in San Antonio, Texas that Rollin King came to me with the idea of starting a low-fare airline in Texas.” Southwest did not make its maiden voyage until 1971 – from a napkin to the airways with their runway in the Court system. When Texas Aeronautics Commission authorized Southwest to fly, their competitors grounded them within the Court system with continuous litigation for three and a half years. The litigation went as high as the Supreme Court. Finally, on June 18, 1971, Rollin King and Herb Kelleher started an airline service with one simple notion: "If you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make darn sure they have a good time doing it, people will fly your airline." They were right about that. Southwest Airline is now a major airline, in fact, the fourth largest airliner in the United States. Thousands of people travel by air; Southwest Airlines provides low-fare air transportation service among 58 cities in the United States. Although the industry suffered a major blow from the terrorist attack of September 11th, the company is still holding strong; while other airline companies are in debt. The information was majority gathered and analyzed from the internet; sources such as "News Week," and "Wall Street Journal." According...