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Southwest looks to grow where rivals downsize

HowardBorden

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Southwest Airlines (LUV) is looking for opportunities to add service in markets where other merged carriers have scaled back, the budget carrier's Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Kelly said on Monday.
The growth opportunities are "very exciting for all of our employees who want to do more," Kelly said in an interview.
Kelly said Southwest was paying "close attention" to cities such as Memphis, Tenn. -- a former Northwest Airlines hub and a market where Delta Air Lines (DAL) reduced flights in last year -- as well as Cleveland, a Midwestern city that United Continental Holdings (UAL) recently said it would drop as a hub.
Kelly, who began his career at Southwest as a controller more than 20 years ago and was named CEO in 2004, noted that when American Airlines reduced operations in Nashville in the 1990s, Southwest raised its daily departures in that market to about 80 from 18.
He also said that Southwest became the largest carrier in St. Louis, Mo., since American scaled back there following its acquisition of Trans World Airlines.
"Memphis is a smaller community, it probably has smaller potential than the two examples I provided there, but we're going to pay very close attention to it," Kelly said in an interview in Atlanta.
"We're excited about being able to grow there, and we'll do as much as we can. Cleveland, I think, is the same way."
Southwest has new opportunities to add flights after recently acquiring takeoff and landing rights at New York's LaGuardia and Reagan National Airport near Washington, D.C., that American Airlines Group (AAL) agreed to sell to settle a U.S. Justice Department suit challenging its merger with US Airways, which was completed in December.
The budget carrier also plans to start international service under its own brand this year -- initially to Aruba, the Bahamas and Jamaica -- as it completes the integration of AirTran and retires that brand.
New nonstop flights from Southwest's base at Dallas Love Field are due to start in October when U.S. flight restrictions there expire.
With the new access gained in New York, Southwest has outlined plans to expand service between LaGuardia and Nashville, Houston Hobby, Chicago (Midway), and Akron-Canton, Ohio.
Kelly declined to comment specifically on where Southwest planned to add flights from Reagan National, but said that large- or medium-sized cities the carrier already serves could be targets.
As it faced rising labor costs, the Dallas-based Southwest added seats to planes, raised baggage fees at its AirTran unit and curbed flying to unprofitable markets to improve results. Southwest is also retiring older Boeing 737 jets in its fleet to help reduce maintenance costs.
Southwest is the only major U.S. airline that has not been restructured in bankruptcy. Even so, Kelly said Southwest was still a lower-cost carrier compared with major rivals though he conceded that rising fuel prices have eaten into that cost advantage.
"We've had to raise our fares simply because fuel prices are so much higher today in the billions of dollars a year compared to where they used to be," Kelly said. "But we still have significant cost advantages -- even including that -- relative to the legacy carriers."
He said the effect of Southwest's presence in a market is often realized in airfare increases that don't materialize.
"The evidence in a market is harder to see at times because our competitors have always matched our fares," Kelly said.
Southwest shares closed down nearly 2 percent to $21.02 on the New York Stock Exchange.
 

General Lee

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"As it faced rising labor costs, the Dallas-based Southwest added seats to planes, raised baggage fees at its AirTran unit and curbed flying to unprofitable markets to improve results."


Of course you raise bag fees at Air Tran... At least you guys admit it to the public now. Who benefits from that? SWA......

And, you add to markets in CLE and MEM, but as the above says, you also cut 17 cities at AT. You've cut routes at PHL and SEA too. Guess what? You're just moving planes around, not really expanding. And, you're adding seats by getting larger planes, -800s.

It's great you get new DCA slots, but try to horde all Dallas Love gates. But, anything you deem unfair must be.... Because you say so Howie....

Why do you guys still have PFT for newhires? That needs to stop.



Bye Bye---General Lee
 

General Lee

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Why do you still not know the difference between actual PFT and hiring minimums? That needs to stop.

Bubba

If a prospective newhire doesn't have a 737 type, he/she must BUY one prior to class right? Emirite? You know I am bubba, quit playing dumb. That practice needs to stop. Don't compare it to college, another dumb comparison. College degree opens up jobs in many other fields. A 737 type does not.

It's bad for this industry, and your airline can afford it, like what they offer to AT guys moving over. Not doing that for everyone else is just cheap. Don't play dumb, everyone knows it's ridiculous. You probably believe the Easties were correct in dumping the NIC award too. Similar bizarre points of view that hurt the industry.


Bye Bye---General Lee
 

redflyer65

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If a prospective newhire doesn't have a 737 type, he/she must BUY one prior to class right?

Bye Bye---General Lee


Plenty of guys have gotten hired without the type Jenny. I was one and we have 4 guys that will be in the next class.

So how is that PFT exactly?

I paid 5k for mine and deducted about 80% off my taxes. The other 20% was gone the first month on the line. NO brainer.

Maybe I should have turned them down, huh Jenny?
 

waveflyer

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Lorien

Are those the new air tran Fa uniforms?
 

DUBLINFLYER

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Maybe we should all take up a collection for the General to get a 737 type and he can come on over to the light - Oh I just woke up it was a nightmare TG
 

whoknows

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If a prospective newhire doesn't have a 737 type, he/she must BUY one prior to class right? Emirite? You know I am bubba, quit playing dumb. That practice needs to stop. Don't compare it to college, another dumb comparison. College degree opens up jobs in many other fields. A 737 type does not.

It's bad for this industry, and your airline can afford it, like what they offer to AT guys moving over. Not doing that for everyone else is just cheap. Don't play dumb, everyone knows it's ridiculous. You probably believe the Easties were correct in dumping the NIC award too. Similar bizarre points of view that hurt the industry.


Bye Bye---General Lee

Does Delta require a college degree?
 

say again

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The PFT argument is old! Get some new material, and please, learn the definition of what PFT actually is. This doesn't qualify.
 
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SWA Bubba

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If a prospective newhire doesn't have a 737 type, he/she must BUY one prior to class right? Emirite? You know I am bubba, quit playing dumb. That practice needs to stop. Don't compare it to college, another dumb comparison. College degree opens up jobs in many other fields. A 737 type does not.

You're the one playing dumb. At least I hope you're just playing. A 737-type is a hiring minimum for a job at Southwest. The same as ATP, Radio telephone license, etc. And while a college degree may "open up jobs in many other fields," it has jack squat to do with an airline job. Delta doesn't require all its employees to have a college degree, just the people who want to be Delta pilots. How stupid is that, requiring them to have a degree to "open up jobs" in other fields? They already know they want to be a Delta pilot; that's why they applied. Why do you require this of pilots? Are you concerned about what they will do to support themselves when you furlough them once or twice in their career? Is that it? How come no other major airline requires this?

You know, personally I agree that Southwest should probably drop that requirement from its list of minimums, and they probably will someday, when the day comes that they can't attract enough applicants. On the other hand, it's even more of a no-brainer that Delta should drop it even less-applicable-to-a-pilot-job requirement of a 4-year degree, since it has nothing to do with the job being applied for. Hey, at least the fledgling pilot will spend a hell of a lot less time and money to meet the minimums to be qualified to apply at Southwest than he or she would to apply at Delta.

It's bad for this industry, and your airline can afford it, like what they offer to AT guys moving over. Not doing that for everyone else is just cheap. Don't play dumb, everyone knows it's ridiculous.
So I asked you before, and you ignored the question, so I'll ask again: How exactly is something on our list of minimums to be hired "bad for this industry"? You'll excuse us if we don't just take your word for it. Also explain how your airline's (and no others) requirement of a 4-year degree in its list of minimums is "good for the industry"?

You probably believe the Easties were correct in dumping the NIC award too. Similar bizarre points of view that hurt the industry.
This has to rank up there as one of the stupidest things you've ever said on FI (and that's a tough standard to meet!). How does our hiring minimums in any freakin' way, shape or form, qualify as a "similar bizarre point of view" as to what USAir East did? I realize that your asinine replies generally consist of the same buzzwords over and over, but you seem to have mixed your canned idiocy from two different arguments. Did you forget to take your medicine today?

Bubba
 

Freebrd

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That's all that putz does, same old song, over and over, like shes doing us all a favor dispensing his public knowledge and posting it on FI as though shes the first one that reads the article! She's such a putz! :rolleyes:
 

redflyer65

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I realize that your asinine replies generally consist of the same buzzwords over and over, but you seem to have mixed your canned idiocy from two different arguments. Did you forget to take your medicine today?

Bubba


Same buzzwords over and over. Year after year after year. Almost 19 thousand post of the same 'buzzwords'. Nothing new to add...ever.


Spot on Bubba.
 

General Lee

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That's all that putz does, same old song, over and over, like shes doing us all a favor dispensing his public knowledge and posting it on FI as though shes the first one that reads the article! She's such a putz! :rolleyes:

You likely will never leave Expressjet, as it shrinks. Vietnam may be a good option for you again. Goodnight Putz!



Bye Bye---General Lee
 

redflyer65

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Bubba asked you several questions.

I guess you're just going to deflect and ignore again right?

How much was your degree again?
 

waveflyer

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On some overnights.

Good lord I hope you're bringing some of that back

I have noticed an increase lately in the old fashioned room party:)
 

SWA717

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Good lord I hope you're bringing some of that back

I have noticed an increase lately in the old fashioned room party:)

Wave, Don't hold your breath!!! I was hoping that there was plenty to go around on your side of the fence.
 
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