No Fees or No MX?

BILL LUMBERG

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Posts
2,074
Total Time
9 to 5
I'm just curious, Why is it anything SWA related (and there has been a lot of them) with MX, the FAA just turns the other cheek and SWA walks away with a slap on the wrist?? I think a pattern is developing, no MX oversight or quality control.

They might not have any "extra fees", but maybe the MX is getting skipped. Labor is the highest cost and the hedges aren't what thy used to be. So how does SWA keep its profits high and costs low?

Ready for the usual Herb defenders to come jump all over me, but it's a question worth asking.....

Talk amongst yourselves.
 

PreContact

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Posts
317
Total Time
3500
Was wondering the same thing given what they did to American with their MD-80s last year.
 

N1atEcon

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2002
Posts
536
Total Time
18000
Ahhh news flash! Maybe you don't recall the multi million dollar fine we got for the lap joints. It was not pretty!

As for profits:
Low debt to avoid paying interest.
One model of AC. i.e training, parts, mechanics ect.
Efficiency/productivity.
Happy employees that don't call in sick evey other trip.

I could go on my but I have to go play Mario Kart with my Daughter. I am going to nail her with some red seeking turtles.
 

PreContact

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Posts
317
Total Time
3500
Yes they did levy a fine but they didn't ground the fleet like they did with AA.
 

swaforme

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2002
Posts
130
Total Time
17000
Of the 529 aircraft in our fleet they own outright approx 350. So compared to other airlines our lease payments are extremely low. That is a huge part of why our costs are low.

As for how these deals are negotiated with the FAA. I am certainly not privy to the details of those conversations.
 

DrewBlows

Go Tigers!
Joined
Jun 25, 2003
Posts
2,031
Total Time
4500
Didn't Southwest pay the highest fine ever administered by the FAA? Is that a slap on the wrist?
 

swaforme

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2002
Posts
130
Total Time
17000
Correct 10.2 million. We ended up negotiating it down to 7.5 mil.

Southwest Airlines has agreed to pay Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) fines of $7.5 million for safety and maintenance issues. The original fine of $10.2 million - a sum which would have been the largest fine in the agency’s history - was negotiated down after a year of negotiations.
FAA is giving Southwest two years to pay the fine. The discount airline was fined because it flew 46 Boeing 737s on a total of 59,791 flights without making required inspections for possible fuselage cracks.
In a prepared statement, Southwest says “This settlement with the FAA will allow us to focus on safety going forward, rather than issues that are behind us and that have been addressed.”

According to reports, the Southwest-FAA settlement also requires that Southwest maintain 13 safety-related steps or be fined an additional $7.5 million. The additional safety items include allowing FAA inspectors better access to information used for tracking maintenance and engineering activities.

Maybe this new issue came to light via new procedures developed in this agreement with the FAA.
 

kf4amu

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Posts
3,074
Total Time
250
Why do people dislike Southwest at all? They have one of the highest paid pilot groups in the industry. That helps bring the averages up come contract time.

I'll never be jealous of a successful airline as long as they pay their pilots well.
 

dispatchguy

Dad is my favorite title
Joined
Nov 30, 2001
Posts
1,569
Total Time
NIL
Plus, having heavy checks done in Central America cant hurt either. I wonder where all those unapproved, unblessed parts come from?
 

Volasl

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2005
Posts
140
Total Time
9000
Ive never understood how an airline negotiates its fine. It occurs at all of them not just Southwest. The FAA fines them and somehow the airline pays around half usually. Id love to know what is said during that negotiation.
 

BILL LUMBERG

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Posts
2,074
Total Time
9 to 5
Why do people dislike Southwest at all? They have one of the highest paid pilot groups in the industry. That helps bring the averages up come contract time.

I'll never be jealous of a successful airline as long as they pay their pilots well.
I'm not jealous....I used to work for the highest paying airline in the world also....it comes and goes. I am happy they make what they do...

I didn't know how they do it.....the leases explain it, I was just wondering.....
 

BILL LUMBERG

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Posts
2,074
Total Time
9 to 5
Didn't Southwest pay the highest fine ever administered by the FAA? Is that a slap on the wrist?
Yeah but considering the scope of what was happening in the MX department that resulted in that fine?? What's a fine to a company who prints money, hence my slap on the wrist comment.

My equation being: Large Major airline+LGA,BOS,DEN,SFO,IAD+ High labor costs+ no fees+always New planes delivered+stupid cheap fares+Actually using VNAV/RNAV RNP+All the MX issues-hedges expiring=X

X= How do they stay profitable?

Good answers from those who posted earlier, never thought about the leases, but that seems like a small piece of the pie.....
 
Last edited:

Benjamin Dover

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2006
Posts
299
Total Time
10K +
Bill,

I know bashing Southwest is trendy these days, but having worked at Delta and Southwest my pilot view of things is Southwest line maintenance is every bit as good as Delta. In fact, I'm not sure if things have changed, but during BK when I left Delta we were carrying many more MEL's for longer periods to cut $. Mechanics were frustrated and pissed because they used to pride themselves in a clean log book as well, but marching orders from above. Pretty rare at SWA even on old 300's that we have MEL's for more than a day and maybe twice in 4 years have I had APU inop. Not so rare on MD-88.

I think Delta has first rate maintenance and I have a couple very good friends who are mechanics. They also are bummin about what used to be at DL - pay/staffing cuts, bean counters making decisions for them, etc., and of course outsourcing jobs.

Yes, I know we outsource most of our heavy checks at SWA, but this has always been the case. Delta and others have increased this trend quit a bit themselves. In fact, the "New Delta" will have much more increased outsourced maintenance % when Northwest gets added in:

http://www.thestreet.com/story/10418992/airline-maintenance-outsourcing-stabilizes.html

The days of all work in house are behind us I'm afraid, and this includes your airline. And just ask someone at Boeing how that's working out for them on the 787.

And if you think with the current spotlight on SWA with new POI and PMI that we somehow get a secret handshake deal then you are dreaming. Even that fine was bs - Southwest was fined by the FAA for a maintenance repair plan that was approved by the FAA. Face saving for FAA under scrutiny by Orberstar, et. al...

Hammer SWA if it makes you feel better, maintenance is just fine here and much more scrunity from feds these days if that makes you feel better too.

BD
 
Last edited:

RedBelly

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Posts
87
Total Time
14,000
Plus, having heavy checks done in Central America cant hurt either. I wonder where all those unapproved, unblessed parts come from?
It was a US vendor that SWA used for flap overhauls. That vendor subcontracted out the work to another US vendor who installed the unapproved parts. I don't think either vendor is going to get anymore work from SWA.

My equation being: Large Major airline+LGA,BOS,DEN,SFO,IAD+ High labor costs+ no fees+always New planes delivered+stupid cheap fares+Actually using VNAV/RNAV RNP+All the MX issues-hedges expiring=X

X= How do they stay profitable?
Stay tuned to the next couple of quarterly reports, they are probably going to be losses. For the full year, SWA may be in the red. It is gonna be close.
 

fiel12

That's Ridiculous!
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Posts
116
Total Time
39yrs
Bill,

I know bashing Southwest is trendy these days, but having worked at Delta and Southwest my pilot view of things is Southwest line maintenance is every bit as good as Delta. In fact, I'm not sure if things have changed, but during BK when I left Delta we were carrying many more MEL's for longer periods to cut $. Mechanics were frustrated and pissed because they used to pride themselves in a clean log book as well, but marching orders from above. Pretty rare at SWA even on old 300's that we have MEL's for more than a day and maybe twice in 4 years have I had APU inop. Not so rare on MD-88.

I think Delta has first rate maintenance and I have a couple very good friends who are mechanics. They also are bummin about what used to be at DL - pay/staffing cuts, bean counters making decisions for them, etc., and of course outsourcing jobs.

Yes, I know we outsource most of our heavy checks at SWA, but this has always been the case. Delta and others have increased this trend quit a bit themselves. In fact, the "New Delta" will have much more increased outsourced maintenance % when Northwest gets added in:

http://www.thestreet.com/story/10418992/airline-maintenance-outsourcing-stabilizes.html

The days of all work in house are behind us I'm afraid, and this includes your airline. And just ask someone at Boeing how that's working out for them on the 787.

And if you think with the current spotlight on SWA with new POI and PMI that we somehow get a secret handshake deal then you are dreaming. Even that fine was bs - Southwest was fined by the FAA for a maintenance repair plan that was approved by the FAA. Face saving for FAA under scrutiny by Orberstar, et. al...

Hammer SWA if it makes you feel better, maintenance is just fine here and much more scrunity from feds these days if that makes you feel better too.

BD
Good post.
 

FlyinGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Posts
900
Total Time
Lots
Bottom line is SWA has people on the inside. A few bucks in the pockets of the FAA goes a long way.
 

learherkjay

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2002
Posts
135
Total Time
10000+
Bottom line is SWA has people on the inside. A few bucks in the pockets of the FAA goes a long way.

Where's your proof of that? I think that is pretty irresponsible to throw out there unless you have facts to back it up.

According to one of our mechs, the FAA has known about this for 6 years, approved it, and never had problems with the parts - until last week. Sounds to me this is more about FAA - POI chest beating and guys stepping over each other in the FAA bureaucracy to make a name for themselves.
 
Last edited:

BILL LUMBERG

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Posts
2,074
Total Time
9 to 5
Bill,

I know bashing Southwest is trendy these days,

Hammer SWA if it makes you feel better, BD

Not my goal here, you mistake me for a hater and frankly I could care less what is "trendy" to do.....good luck on your new career, but don't goto battle stations if you don't know who you're fighting.
 

Kharma Police

Don't mess with Texas
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Posts
2,099
Total Time
8000
Not my goal here, you mistake me for a hater and frankly I could care less what is "trendy" to do.....good luck on your new career, but don't goto battle stations if you don't know who you're fighting.
"What?!?!, little old me!?!?, I'm just asking innocent thought provoking questions, in no way was I trying to start a fight with SWA!"

Man, thanks for the laugh!!!
 

BILL LUMBERG

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Posts
2,074
Total Time
9 to 5
"What?!?!, little old me!?!?, I'm just asking innocent thought provoking questions, in no way was I trying to start a fight with SWA!"

Man, thanks for the laugh!!!
Kharma....you got your own inadequacies to work with....Let the adults talk ok???

I get it, suck up and SWA won't staple you when they buy into ATL....

Now I made myself laugh!!
 
Top