The company ended 2015 with 704 aircraft in its fleet. This reflects the delivery of 19 new Boeing 737-800s and 24 pre-owned Boeing 737-700s, as well as the retirement of four Boeing 737 Classic aircraft during the year. At the end of December 2015, the Company revised its future firm delivery schedule to reflect 33 additional -800s, and the conversion of its remaining 25 -700 firm orders to -800s. In addition, two pre-owned -700s were added to its delivery schedule.
Most Southwest planes are now equipped with Wi-Fi for $8 per flight and on-demand movies for $5 each. Live TV with 19 channels is offered free for passengers using their own smartphones or laptops.
Southwest has a Business Select program where customers can pay a higher fare and board the plane first since there is no assigned seating. Business Select passengers also get more points in Southwest Rapid Rewards program and a free drink.
The airline has continued its policy of not charging fees for first and second bags and for snacks unlike other airlines. Southwest also has no fees for making flight changes. Early-bird check-in is available for $12.50 one way.
In 2015, Southwest reported record revenues of $19.8 billion, a 6.5% increase, and net income of $2.18 billion. The company has reported annual profits for the 43rd consecutive year which is unheard of in the airline industry.
Southwest carried a total of 144.5 million passengers in 2015, up 6.5% from last year, with a load factor of 83.6%. The average flight was 994 miles. The average passenger fare paid in 2015 was $154.85, down 3.1%. The average fuel cost per gallon paid by Southwest was $1.90 per gallon at the end of 2015, down 35.2%.
Gary Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our network is performing well, and we are pleased with the investments we have made over the past couple of years, particularly at Dallas Love Field. In fourth quarter 2015, we were thrilled to launch international service from Houston in conjunction with the opening of Houston Hobby's international terminal, and demand, thus far, has been encouraging. We ended the year with a 7.2 percent year-over-year increase in available seat miles (capacity), as expected, and we continue to plan for 2016 year-over-year capacity growth in the five to six percent range. We have increased our future aircraft delivery schedule to support our recent decision to accelerate the retirement of our Classic fleet to no later than mid-2018. This decision is expected to reduce operating costs over the acceleration period and improve the Customer experience with better ontime performance and WiFi-equipped 737 aircraft, with a manageable increase in our capital spending."
Southwest Airlines currently operates seven Customer Support and Services Centers in Albuquerque, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio.
Southwest pilots are among the most experienced in the airline industry and are also among the highest paid.
Southwest said it received 178,299 resumes and hired 4,136 new Employees in 2014.
Southwest was founded by Rollin King and
Herb Kelleher. The airline began service June 18, 1971 with three
airplanes and flights to Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. They
concentrated on getting customers to their destination on-time
and at low fares. They also made sure people had a good time
Southwest carried its one millonth passenger
in 1974. The company went public under the symbol LUV in 1977.
The airline topped the monthly domestic
originating passenger rankings for the first time in May 2003.
In 2007, Southwest changed its boarding
policy to allow users to board by specific number instead of
just three sections A, B, C. It also introduced Business Select
seating at a higher ticket price that lets passengers board first
and includes a complimentary alcoholic beverage.
In 2011, Southwest acquired AirTran Airways for $1.4 billion.
Below is a summary of benefits offered:
One of the special benefits of working
at Southwest is flying free. Effective the first day of employment,
Employees, spouses, eligible dependent children, and parents
of Employees have unlimited space-available travel privileges
on Southwest. Discounted travel arrangements with other carriers
are also available through the Southwest Airlines Pass Bureau,
subject to eligibility requirements and other restrictions.
ProfitSharing and 401(k)
Participation in the ProfitSharing Plan
is offered to all eligible Employees. The plan is funded by Company
contributions to profitsharing accounts. Company contributions
are made when the Company meets profitability goals set each
The 401(k) Plan is designed to help Employees
to prepare for the future. Eligible Employees may contribute
up to 50% of their pay to the plan on a pretax basis. A Company
match is offered based on Employee groups. Rollovers are accepted
from the Employee's former employer's qualified plan.
Stock Purchase Plan
This plan was specially designed to allow
Employees to share in the success of the Company. Through the
plan, Employees may invest in Southwest Airlines Co. stock through
payroll deductions. Employees pay only 90% of market value for
the stock. The Company pays broker commissions on stock purchases.
Employees may choose from several different
medical plan options depending on their lifestyle, needs, and
priorities through a cafeteria style flexible benefits program.
PPO Network and HMO plans are included. Most medical plan options
are available to Employees at no cost with family coverage available
at minimal cost.
Dental coverage is offered through several
dental plan options. Basic dental coverage is available to Employees
at no cost. Optional additions and family coverage are available
at minimal cost. All dental coverage options include preventive,
basic, major, and orthodontic coverage.
Vision coverage is offered to provide affordable
vision care for Employees and their families. Coverage under
the vision plan includes complete eye exams and lenses and frames
or contact lenses. Under some plans, vision coverage is available
only to certain work groups.
Basic life insurance is provided to all
Employees at no cost. Coverage is based on annual salary. Optional
Employee and dependant life insurance are also available.
Sick Leave, Vacation and Holidays
Depending on employment classifications,
Employees are able to accrue time off for personal illness and
vacation. Employees celebrate several paid holidays throughout
the calendar based on their employment classifications.
Long-Term Disability Insurance ·
Dependant Care Spending Account · Healthcare Spending
Account · Adoption Assistance Reimbursement Benefit ·
Child and Elder Care Resource and Referral Program · Mental
Health Chemical Dependency/Employee Assistance Program
Updated January 29, 2016