SWA's Competitive Advantage*



Mini Case Code : CLIM024
Publication date : 2005
Subject : International Marketing
Industry : Airlines or Aviation
Length : 03 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Southwest Airlines, lowest fares, competitive advantage, point-to-point model, quick turnarounds, organizational culture, fleet of aircraft


* This caselet is intended for use only in class discussions.
** More comprehensive case studies are priced at Rs.200 to Rs.700 (US $5 to US $16) per copy.


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The caselet discusses how Southwest Airlines (SWA) achieved a cost advantage through certain efficient operations. It takes a look at the various innovative strategies adopted by the company that have set it apart from its competitors and have also helped it gain a competitive advantage. It explains how the company managed to offer services to its customers at competitive prices by effectively implementing 'quick turnarounds'.


Southwest Airlines' competitive advantage
How efficient operations can impact the pricing of services
Quick turnarounds - crucial element of SWA's success
The importance of coordination between employees in services organizations


Southwest Airlines (SWA), a leading American airlines company, was voted as "the most successful airline in history" by the Fortune magazine in 2001. In 2004, the company announced its 31st consecutive year of profitability...

Questions for Discussion:

1. How did Southwest Airlines (SWA) manage to offer lower fares than other airlines?

2. How did Southwest Airlines (SWA) manage to effectively implement 'quick turnarounds'?

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