In particular, the benefitted from increased thrust, fuel capacity, takeoff weight and range over the aging series it was replacing. Airways spoke to a passenger who was on the last revenue flight. The arrival received a water canon salute, and he could see people taking photos of the arrival, both from inside the terminal and below on the ramp.
SWAthe model for budget upstarts everywhere, has become the largest domestic airline in the United States, by number of passengers carried. More than 70 million passengers fly SWA each year to about 60 destinations around the country. Passengers have found that Southwest's rock bottom pricing creates almost a new form of transportation, more in competition with the automobile than other airlines.
They are willing to forsake in-flight meals, baggage transfers, and other traditional frills for economically amenable wings. The company flies only Boeing s, to simplify maintenance and training, and employee productivity is high. Planes are turned around for their next flight in just 15 minutes, one-third the industry average.
Though the airline has boosted its wages and taken on other aspects of a traditional airline, such as its first codeshare arrangement, Southwest remains a maverick in the industry. Lamar Muse, and Herbert D. Incorporated inthe company was envisioned as a commuter airline serving three cities within Texas: Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.
Although the Texas Aeronautics Commission TACthe regulatory body responsible for overseeing aviation within the state, granted the company permission to fly the routes it had requested in Februarythree competing airlines filed suit to prevent the airline from getting off the ground.
Supreme Court, and in December this court ruled in favor of Air Southwest.
Six months later, after fighting numerous legal battles, changing its name to Southwest Air, and selling stock in the company, the fledgling airline began operations on June 18, Under the stewardship of President M. Lamar Muse, the airline offered six daily roundtrip flights between Dallas and San Antonio, and 12 daily roundtrip flights between Dallas and Houston.
Courting the commuter, the company stressed "no-frills" convenience and, in reference to Love Field in Dallas, its home base, made "love" its promotional theme.
Flight attendants were dressed in hot pants and go-go boots to serve "love potions" and "love bites" also known as drinks and peanuts to the company's clientele of mostly male business fliers.
Southwest made much of its scantily clad women, whose pin-up-like images would eventually appear widely, including on the cover of Esquire magazine. By the end ofSouthwest owned four aircraft, offered hourly flights between Dallas and Houston, and had inaugurated service between San Antonio and Houston, completing the last leg of a triangular route.
In the following year, the company transferred its Houston service from Houston Intercontinental Airport to William P. Hobby Airport, located much closer to the city's downtown, in an effort to become more convenient to commuters. InBraniff Airlines began a fare war with Southwest over service from this airport to Dallas.
Southwest resorted to giveaways of liquor, leather ice buckets, and 50 percent discounts on fares. The company also introduced cargo service between the airports it served and by the end of had notched its first profitable year, carrying over half a million passengers.
Still More Controversy in the s Southwest again found itself involved in legal controversy inwhen the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth and their Regional Airport Board filed suit to force the airline to move from Love Field to the newly constructed Dallas-Fort Worth regional airport, hoping that by charging higher landing fees and rent there, they could help offset the cost of the expensive project.
While all the other airlines had signed a contract to move to the new airport inSouthwest had not done so because it was not in existence at that time.
In a big break for Southwest, a federal judge ruled in that the airline could continue to operate at Love Field in Dallas as long as the airport remained open.
Thwarted, the Dallas City Council subsequently passed a law closing the airport to all scheduled airlines, but this law was thrown out in court. InSouthwest's competitors began moving out to the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, leaving the airline with a monopoly on service from the cheaper, more convenient airport.Dec 11, · The integration of AirTran has made Southwest the largest domestic airline, based on the number of passengers flown.
Synergies from AirTran’s acquisition have also played a key role . Apr 02, · Southwest Airlines tried to keep serious problems with its maintenance program hidden and pressured the Federal Aviation Administration to keep out .
Jun 04, · Southwest Airlines projected a 3% drop in a key revenue figure during the second quarter, after reducing marketing following a fatal accident in April.
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