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Southwest Airlines Description

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1. Ans: Southwest airlines was founded on 16 march , 1967 in Dallas, Texas, U.S. It started its operations on 18 June, 1971. Today Southwest airlines operates more than 3400 flights per day. It have a fleet of 547 boeing 737 aircrafts.

Southwest has a unique business model , known as "low cost carrier" in aviation industry. This model also include flying one aircraft type boeing 737. Using low cost business model Southwest does not offer some special services. These services includes first class cabins, airport lounge, reserved seat arrangements , meal & drinks. Using only one type of aircraft also reduces the cost of maintenance. These facts can been seen in reports of southwest in which they uses boeing 737 -200, 737-300, 737-500, 737-700 aircrafts. In 2001 southwest changes their seat covers from cloth to leather which is also easy to maintain.

2. Ans: As discussed, the Southwest airlines is using low cost business model. It is a effective model and also successful . It helps the Southwest to cope with the situations when airline industry was hit in 2001. This model survive the airline from bankruptcy .low cost strategy of the southwest airlines is explained below:

* Firstly southwest use only one type of aircraft i.e. boeing 737. It minimize the size of spare parts inventory. The training for repairing and maintenance is simple. It also reduces the time & effort needed to maintain them. For some models of boeing like 737-300, 737-500, 737-700, southwest were the first to acquire them at favorable prices. We can see this in company's stats.

* Southwest also tell their customers to make reservations & purchase tickets on company's website. This reduces the paper work , commission to agents, number of personnel required. In 2002, about 50% of ticket sales was through company's website.

* The company was not using the congested airports. It reduces time of clearance from airport, reduces fuel costs. Company do not have to pay high landing fees .The airports used are near major metropolitan cities & are in medium size cities. For example instead of using Boston's international airport, it started operations from Rhode island nearby it. Likewise initiated flights from Islip, Long island for the passengers of New York & Kennedy international airports.

* Point to point scheduling of flights used by Southwest was also cost efficient. Other rival airline uses hub & spoke method which consumes more time & need more personnel at ground level. South west can use these ground personnel in another operations.




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