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Congressional Hearings

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Southwest Airlines will be providing testimony to today's (Thursday, April 3) hearing of the House of Representatives' Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and our Executive Chairman, Herb Kelleher, and CEO Gary Kelly are scheduled to testify.  The hearing begins at 9:oo a.m. Central Time and can be viewed at the Committee's web site.  You can also access our press release by clicking here. Friday, April 4 Just as a form of recap, for those of you who weren't able to watch the entire hearing or read all the testimony, here are a couple of excerpts from Herb's and Gary's testimony. Excerpts from Herb's testimony: Southwest, through the dedication, energy, and warming hearts of its much beloved and cherished Employees, has faithfully delivered on its original promise of 'more value for less fare' for 37 years: In 1966, when I started work on bringing Southwest into being, we said we are going to free the American people to fly-and we did. At that time, something like only 15-20 percent of adults in the U.S. had ever flown on a single commercial airline flight. Today, that number stands at around 85 percent. Southwest said we're going to get you there on time-and we did. Among major airlines in existence in 1987, Southwest has the best cumulative Customer Satisfaction record since the inception of such statistics in 1987-21 years ago. Southwest, for many decades the most heavily unionized of the major airlines, said we are going to take care of our splendid People-and we did.  Southwest instituted the first Employee ProfitSharing Plan in the American airline industry, and no Southwest Employee has, ever, sustained an involuntary furlough. And, finally, we said we're going to operate the safest airline in the world-and we have. After 16 million flights carrying 1.2 billion passengers without a single-not one-passenger accident fatality, Southwest Airlines' record is intact today. Excerpts from Gary's testimony: Southwest Airlines has been a great success at a great many things for 37 years. We believe our People are the best in the aviation industry, and they have enormous devotion to our Company and pride in its results. Above all, the Safety of our People, our Customers, and our own families is my top priority. And, it is Southwest Airlines' top priority. Our airplanes are designed to be safe, and our Maintenance program is designed to keep them safe. Our Safety record is one of which anyone would be justifiably proud. I believe, deeply, that we have the best Maintenance and Engineering Employees in the airline industry. I want to assure Congress and the American People that Southwest will not rest on our Safety record, no matter good it may be. I commit to you, we will constructively and aggressively address the issues raised by the FAA and this committee to enable our proud, safe airline to continue as the safest in the world. Our record makes credible this aspiration. Our Southwest People will accept nothing less. Our Customers deserve nothing less.
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