I was fortunate enough to sit in on a question and answer session at a MX
conference today in which our CEO Jim Parker and our CFO Gary Kelly spoke about our plans for PHL
Many of you have commented on the fact that it seems a departure from our normal business model, which both men readily admitted. According to Mr. Parker, the reason we chose PHL
was because it is the largest market without a significant low cost presence. For that reason, the Company foresees an excellent opportunity for growth, not only in PHL
, but in the Northeast region as a whole.
Some of you have expressed a sentiment that SWA is trying to put US Airways out of business. Jim Parker, while acknowledging that we will be in direct competition with US Airways in their own backyard, said that Southwest wishes no ill will to US Airways or their employees; the company is simply moving forward with our plan for growth after holding our ground during the uncertainty following 9/11.
As far as being a risky move on our part, Gary Kelly says, that thus far, most investment strategists view the move favorably due to our track record.
Also, Mr Parker said that PHL
will probably be our only new city in 2004, but like everything, they are always looking at new avenues for growth in the future. They analyze a hundred different options before making one decision. Situations can and do change depending on the prevailing conditions at the time.
Hope this helps answer some questions and clarify things a bit.
Patrick Bateman is my hero.