Southwest Airline started out in 1967 and has been different even from its inception. The airline flew to three cities at first and allured customers with flights that departed and arrived on time at the lowest rate possible. This was important to business people that needed to get to and from Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio on business (History, 2013). It was also important to make sure people had a good time while traveling and dedicated their business to a high quality of customer satisfaction. Southwest success has been built on a cocktail of low costs, low fares, frequent flights and a rapid expansion to new cities. But with the high fuel prices, growth has been harder to find, and analysts have questioned whether the airline can sustain its singular operating style. In an ad from the early 1970s, a Southwest “hostess” — that’s what they were called at the time — wearing skimpy hot pants stood in the middle of a runway while a low-flying jet whizzed by and made a simple case for the new airline: We’re affordable (Mouawad, 2010). Southwest continues to have that impact when it enters a new airport. After it began service to Baltimore-Washington International in 1993, fares dropped by 70 percent and passenger traffic increased sevenfold. Traffic between Philadelphia and Providence increased by more than 800 percent, and one-way average fares fell to $44, a drop of 83 percent, in the year after Southwest entered Philadelphia in 2004 (Mouawad, 2010). The company started flying to Denver in January 2006. It now has 141 daily departures there, reflecting the fastest growth in its network. Frontier Airlines, based in Denver but wedged between Southwest and rising fuel costs, couldn’t keep up. It filed for bankruptcy in 2008, though it kept flying (Mouawad, 2010). In Las Vegas, Southwest effectively drove out most competition from US Airways, which retreated to Phoenix. With 212 daily flights, Las Vegas is now Southwest’s top city...
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Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)
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Media Kit. 2013. Retrieved on July 1, 2013 from https://www.southwest.com/assets/pdfs/customer_service/swcom_media_kit.pdf
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