Happy Anniversary Albuquerque. 30 years ago, Southwest Airlines's Albuquerque Station opened with higher than expected load factors and broke even after only four weeks of service. It was the Company’s Tinth Anniversary, and we employed 1,839 Employees systemwide. We were proud to be the “little airline that could”. Our average fare was only $34.18. At yearend 1980, our fleet consisted of 23 aircraft. The Annual Report to our Shareholders stated that Southwest’s philosophy and business strategy included: Simplicity of Operations, High Productivity, Focus on Passenger Business, and Serving Short-Haul, Mass Transit Commuter Markets.
A ton has changed since 1980, but a lot has remained the same. We still employ some of the greatest Employees in the industry right here in Albuquerque, and we remain committed to low-fares and serving the New Mexico community. In 2009, Southwest Airlines in Albuquerque won an award for community service and for being one of the Top Ten Performing Stations in our now huge network.
I am proud of this Team in Albuquerque, proud to serve with and for this great airport and community, and I can’t wait to see how we continue to grow as a Company in the next 30 years. I also can’t wait until the next time I am at one of the many great restaurants in the area, and my server says “red or green?”.