Both Swiss Air and Singapore Air have excellent service as far as the customer
is concerned. Some of it in direct contrast to SouthWest's. So a better question
is Are there two industries within this sector ?
Here are some points and food for thought:
1. Swiss and Singapore both depend on International Ops for their survival, being
small countries they have no domestic volume to speak of. They have to be
sensitive to diverse clientele and compete for every passenger. Hence the
attention to details.
2. Both Airlines are really small in size too - They somehow became cash rich by doing something right - Satisfying customers and maintaining still a good margin. Swiss has taken majority stake in Sabena (I hope they improve SN's CRM), and SIA took approx 49% stake in VirginAtlantic. A combination
of size and details has prevented (or saved) them from dealing with macro
economics of large OPs like UA/AA/DL etc.
3. Bilaterals - International Airlines still work on Flag/national and inter-govt.
agreements This gives them necessary slots (Bermuda-II aside) and a
manageable forcasting methodology. SIA and SR both have never been a
discount airlines in the sense that their fares are *not* cut-throat.
SouthWest has not had to juggle international operations - I wonder what their
flight operations and profitability would be in TransAtlantic or TransPacific sector ?
The domestic US deregulated hub-spoke differential yeald-management and
complex pricing models have evolved in part because of having to satisfy
a few major industry analysts associated with amjor Wall St. firms every QUARTER !!!!! - who in turn can influence institutional investors. Ever heard of
Candice Browning ??
These are few of the many talking points I have