This is the third in a series of posts about our just-released integrated annual report, the2010Southwest Airlines One Report™, where we have illustrated our commitment to a triple bottomline and how our passion and focus on Performance, People, and Planet continues to propel us forward.
It’s amazing how one week can make such a big difference, and last week was no exception. On August 5, Standard & Poor announced that it had downgraded its U.S. credit rating for the first time ever. This was the day after we reported that our second quarter earnings excluding special items were down 44 percent and our first half 2011 earnings were down 41 percent from the first half of 2010, primarily driven by high fuel prices. While last week’s news is troublesome, Southwest is known for being a maverick and for being the exception in the challenging airline industry. Our People are the best, and we will work together yet again to find ways to overcome the challenges ahead.
You may have heard a little bit about:
Executing the AirTran acquisition on May 2, 2011
Launching the All-New Rapid Rewards program on March 1, 2011
Optimizing our network
Providing our Customers with inflight Internet
Implementing Required Navigation Performance
Enhancing our operational efficiency and ontime performance with operations recovery plans like express bag drops and automation of luggage-loading procedures
Adding the Boeing 737-800 to our fleet starting in 2012
Replacing our reservations system
All of these initiatives will enable us to reach the goals we’ve always had our eyes set on—flying to more places, serving more Customers, and being the nation’s preferred, low-cost airline. You can read more on how these current and upcoming initiatives will impact our triple bottomline in our 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report™.
These initiatives are important, but let’s talk a bit more about our triple bottomline and how our focus on Performance, People, and Planet keeps us solid. We are also working to modernize our fleet to be more fuel efficient, which will reduce overall unit costs. We can’t control the cost of fuel, but we can focus on finding ways to do our part with various emissions reduction projects like conserving jet and ground support equipment fuel and reducing electricity consumption. Long-term, we plan on furthering our emission and energy conservation efforts through strategic fleet replacements, use of improved air traffic control technology, and the ongoing pursuit of cleaner-burning alternative fuels. Of course, we continue to actively manage our fuel hedging program as well.
We are dedicating a lot of energy behind ongoing and future initiatives in our efforts to grow revenues and control costs. As initiatives keep plugging away, we must not lose sight of bringing Customers back to LUV time and again with our Warrior Spirits, Servant’s Hearts, and Fun-LUVing attitudes. You can see how all three pillars are interwoven. You can’t have Performance without People and Planet.
We are proud of our commitment to being a good citizen of the world. We look forward to sharing the journey with you in our upcoming blog posts on Performance, People, and Planet, and we hope it will inspire you to read our 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report™, which, in an effort to conserve our natural resources, can only be found online at www.southwest.com/citizenship.