Thanks for providing the link. The article made for interesting reading but I think that the authors were a bit selective in how they used the facts presented to suit some of their points (and in some cases they were incorrect.)
I think that they certainly sensationalized SWA's rising unit costs though they did say that SWA was addressing them, and that cost control has always been central to their managemant philosophy.
Aside from the rez center consolidation from 9 to 6, the gradual retiring of the 737-200's from the fleet, and the addition of blended winglets, I believe that that they overlooked the easiest way for SWA to potentially reduce their CASM, if SWA would choose to do so: swap some of the 124 737-700's on order with 737-800's. That would increase productivity significantly by the addition of about 40 seats per flight. (The authors incorrectly state that SWA has around 400 737's on order.)
The authors also failed to mention other examples of SWA poductivity gains that will result from online checkin; Ticketless Travel for Rapid Rewards Members using Award Tickets and Companion Passes; and, in the upcoming year, the ability to receive connecting boarding passes at the airport or online.
The example of BWI
to illustrate what could/will happen at PHL
I think is also a bit overblown. BWI
was a unique situation and it shows it - BWI
is ranked third for number of departures and non-stop cities served on SWA yet the station was only established in 1993. But I do agree that SWA's entry into PHL
will be further restricting the oxygen flow that US Airway's needs to survive. However, entry into PHL
is not the fatal blow that they hint at. SWA is not the only shark that smells blood in the water...
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein