Southwest has mastered the low-price model and has the financial results to prove it. The reasons why other airlines don’t copy Southwest’s model
It is certainly true that Southwest masters the low-price model and remains one of the most profitable and trusted airlines in the world. The issue that other companies may face while trying to copy the success of Southwest is not their ability to guarantee low fares and reduce operating costs. There are many airlines throughout the world, which offer passengers cheap flights in an effort to distinguish themselves from competition. Additionally, they manage to cut costs by limiting the number of aircraft models used, reducing the turn-around times, having special agreements with airports, as well as increasing fuel efficiency. Some of these airlines include Pegasus, TUI, RyanAir, EasyJet, and many others (Keyes, 2020). What makes the success of Southwest hard to replicate is the fact that its services remain customer-oriented. Budget airlines often sacrifice customer experience in favor of profiting off additional fares, which upsets customers who cannot deal with the constant upselling they face. Years of experience in the industry have taught Southwest how to strike a balance between profitability and customer service. As a result, the airline continues to make money, while managing to secure its top spot in the most well-regarded companies in the United States.
Risks the Southwest faces
In order to keep thriving even during the tough economic conditions the airline industry faces nowadays, Southwest would have to invest in building up its resilience and continue to increase its brand recognition. The main risk any low-budget carrier has is the volatile fuel prices, which directly affect the profits. Recently, however, the pandemic and quarantine measures have been a major threat. Thus, Southwest can only rely on its crisis management and resilience strategies. In order to fight off the competition, the airline has to offer a unique selling proposition such as its focus on customer service. Moreover, it should continue to build on increasing its brand recognition.
Keyes, S. (2020). The best and worst budget airlines in Europe. Scott’s Cheap Flights. Web.