Airfinance Journal recently named Southwest Airlines as ‘Airline of the Year.' The award is a recognition of the best Return on Total Capital.
While we have been nominated for this award in the past (2008, 2014, and 2016), this is the first time we have taken home top honors. At Southwest, we pride ourselves on maintaining a strong balance sheet with investment-grade ratings and ample liquidity, growing our earnings, expanding our margins, and improving our returns on capital—among other financial priorities. Of course, these goals allow us to take care of our Employees and keep our fares low for our Customers, and I’m so incredibly proud of our track record of doing just that.
We’re no stranger to bringing home high honors and hardware. This year alone, we were once again named to Fortune’s list of Most Admired Companies in the World, ranking No. 11. And, we ranked second out of 500 companies on Forbes’ list of Best Employers. I could go on and on, but these accolades speak to the overall health and well-being of our Company. And for financial folks like me, I was thrilled to see Southwest win Airline of the Year as a result of our focus on generating returns on capital.
As Airfinance Journal notes, “Southwest is a deserving winner of this award in 2018.” I couldn’t agree more.
... View more
This is the third in a series of posts about our just-released integrated annual report, the 2010 Southwest 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.
... View more
In his recent blog about the Employee Survey, Jeff Lamb talked about the competition between the People & Leadership Development/Purchasing Departments and Finance. This is a perfect example of our Culture of having fun while working hard . While we don't take ourselves too seriously, the survey and its results are serious business because it’s important for us to hear our Employees’ opinions. We believe that making something important also fun is key to keeping our Culture alive. Now, more about the challenge. Yes, you might call us Finance folks a bunch of accounting nerds, but we also LUV to have fun! After our sneak attack on Mr. Lamb’s office, we were ready for their retaliation. However, they so carefully and patiently planned their counter attack that we had begun to relax. When we came into work one morning, we found that they had “kicked it up a notch.” They covered our department with horrible photos involving hotdog suits, and, through their clever handiwork, we also noticed a theme that Jeff confirmed in his blog . . . stealing. As revenge, they kidnapped, or should I say birdnapped, one of the most valuable assets in our department . . . our beloved Pink Flamingo. Why do we have a pink flamingo you might ask? It may be a testament to our Fun-LUVING attitude or to our general nerdiness, but the Pink Flamingo is affectionately awarded each quarter to a Finance Teammember who has done something dumb, embarrassing, or silly. Take heart, Pink Flamingo is now back safe and sound at home with its LUVing Finance family. Thanks to the People & Leadership Development/Purchasing Departments for not only sharing their creativity and fun with us, but also helping us to truly appreciate Pink Flamingo.
... View more