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Marianne Marchant Southwest Airlines: In a Different World June 19, 2012 Southwest Airlines: In a Different World Southwest is a domestic

airline in the United States of America. Southwe st provides cheap domestic flights and a fun experience to customers. There are many competitors in the airline industry. When Southwest started in Texas there were law suits filed against them and many road blocks in their way by rivaling competitors. Southwest did not agree to charge the same prices as all the big gi ants in the Airline industry, however, they operated out of non-congested, low-c ost airports to reduce their total costs and provide customers with a cheaper so lution. Since then the economy has risen and fallen, forcing the big airline com panies to re-evaluate their operations, and reduce costs. The big airlines reducing their airline tickets created more competition for Southwest. Now there were more flights, and Southwest would need to take an other look at how they could differentiate. Through hard work though Southwest p revailed and managed very few losses largely because of its controlled growth pl an. Between 1972 and 2000 Southwest had a growth rate of over 25%. Their con trolled growth plan tried to control growth rates to approximately 8 - 10% per y ear to allow enough growth, that would still make it possible to preserve their service personality and culture. A problem Southwest has to face is the decision to fly planes out of LaG uardia airport or not. A competing aircraft has ceased operations with LaGuardia airport, and from that slots have opened up that Southwest Airlines is able to bid on. There are many advantages and disadvantages for both options. It is beneficial to operate out of LaGuardia for three main reasons. Fir stly, growth would continue as Southwest operates in more and more venues. Secon dly, Southwest only operates out of Islip in New York which is outside of the ci ty. Last but not least, New York is a huge business center, and Southwest starte d off providing a cheaper and more entertaining commute than the competition. However, Southwest s original strategy of operation aimed to work with non-c ongested, low-cost airports, none of which describe LaGuardia. 50% of all delays in the U.S. are caused by delays in the three major airports of New York. In ad dition, LaGuardia s operations are costly, and could raise the price of airline tick ets which would be unfavorable to Southwest. In the business world, it is hard for a company to hold onto their original stra tegy of operations for a long time without making any adaptations. However, in S outhwest s case, it would be smart to hold onto their strategy a little longer. Sout hwest should not operate out of LaGuardia. Southwest is still doing well, and to expand their root to LaGuardia would signify a shift in their strategy of opera tions and could make them look like they are struggling. Rather than just sit back and let LaGuardia slip by however, Southwest Airlines should look into more surrounding airports in New York and increase their servic es around the state to generate more clientele. This way they could still servic e New York better, without risking too much in LaGuardia.