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Case 20 Southwest Airlines in 2010 Culture

Case 20 Southwest Airlines in 2010 Culture - Case 20...

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Case 20  Southwest Airlines in 2010  Culture, Values, and Operating Practices Southwest Airlines in 2010: Culture, Values, and Operating Practices Overview In 2010, Southwest Airlines was the market share leader in domestic air travel in the United States; it transported more passengers from U.S. airports to U.S. destinations than any other airline, and it offered more regularly scheduled domestic flights than any other airline. Southwest also had the enviable distinction of being the only major U.S. air carrier that was consistently profitable. The U.S. airline industry had lost money in 15 of the 30 years from 1980 through 2009, with combined annual losses exceeding combined annual profits by $43.2 billion. Yet Southwest had reported a profit every year since 1973, chiefly because of its zealous pursuit of low operating costs, low fares, and customer-pleasing service. From humble beginnings as a quirky but scrappy underdog that flew mainly to secondary airports (rather than high-traffic airports like Chicago O’Hare, Dallas–Fort Worth, Atlanta Hartsfield, and New York’s LaGuardia and Kennedy airports), Southwest had climbed up through the industry ranks to become a major competitive force in the domestic segment of the U.S. airline industry. It had weathered industry downturns, dramatic increases in the prices of jet fuel, cataclysmic falloffs in airline traffic due to terrorist attacks and economy- wide recessions, and fare wars and other attempts by rivals to undercut its business, all the while adding more and more flights to more and more airports. Since 2000, the number of passengers flying Southwest had
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