Company: Southwest Airlines, Dallas, TX
Company Description: Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers--offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. Southwest serves 73 cities in 38 states and is one of the most honored airlines in the world.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year - Transportation
Nomination Title: Southwest Airlines Co.
Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since January 1 2011 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
Southwest carries more passengers than any domestic airline. . Yearend results for 2011 marked Southwest's 39th consecutive year of profitability. Southwest became a major airline in 1989 when it exceeded the billion-dollar revenue mark. Southwest is the United States' most successful low fare, high-frequency, point-to-point carrier. Southwest operates more than 3,200 flights a day coast to coast, and is the largest U.S. carrier based on domestic passengers boarded as of March 31,2011, as measured by the U.S. Department of Transportation .
On May 2, 2011, Southwest acquired Orlando-based AirTran Airways and expects to complete the integration of the two airlines during the next several years.
• As of Dec 31, 2011, up to 60 Southwest Cities connect to six different Volaris airports in Mexico: Aguascalientes, Guadalajara, Mexico City (MEX), Mexico City-Toluca (TLC), Morelia, and Zacatecas
With 40 years of service, Southwest Airlines Co. (Southwest), a low-fare major domestic airline, continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers, offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service.
Southwest has among the lowest cost structures in the domestic airline industry, consistently offers the lowest and simplest fares, and has one of the best overall Customer Service records.
Southwest operates on the principle of servant leadership.
• Southwest Airlines has consistently received the lowest ratio of complaints per passengers boarded of all major U.S. carriers that have been reporting statistics to the Department of Transportation (DOT) since September 1987, which is when the DOT began tracking Customer Satisfaction statistics and publishing its Air Travel Consumer Report.
• In March, we launched our All-New Rapid Rewards® program. The completely revamped, industry-leading frequent flyer program continues to grow at a strong pace. Results, thus far, are well beyond our expectations” said CEO Gary C. Kelly
• During the fourth quarter of 2011, 86 percent of our passenger revenues were booked via southwest.com.
• As of September 2011, southwest.com was the third largest travel site and the largest airline site in terms of unique visitors (source: Nielsen NetView).
• Blackberry® and Android™ versions of the DING! Applications were released in December 2010. Southwest is the first airline to offer this application on all three mobile platforms.
"I commend each of our 45,000+ Warriors for their hard work and notable accomplishments. We accomplished everything we set out to do in 2011, with soaring fuel costs the only disappointment. As we prepare for our next 40 years, our target is fixed on a 15 percent pretax return on invested capital. Capital commitments for 2012 are approximately $1.3 billion, our 2012 capacity is estimated to be flat with 2011, and we currently plan to end 2012 with 691 aircraft in our fleet. Future capital spending will be carefully monitored with a focus on generating free cash flow. We are committed to providing exceptional Customer Service at everyday low fares; focused on investing in the Customer Experience while preserving our low cost position; and engaged in our strategic initiatives to drive Shareholder value."
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Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader of this nominated organization:
Gary Kelly serves as the Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer at Southwest Airlines. A 24-year Southwest veteran who became CFO in 1989, Gary has worked closely with Southwest's legendary Cofounder and Chairman Emeritus Herb Kelleher and President Emeritus Colleen Barrett to build the nation's largest airline in terms of passengers—and the undisputed Low-Fare Leader.
Gary began his career at Southwest Airlines as Controller, moving up to Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Finance, then Executive Vice President and CFO, before being promoted to CEO and Vice Chairman in July 2004.