We are all accustomed to many changes in the airline industry as they attempt to secure more profits. Lately, it seems as though they, like so many other industries, are out of money making ideas. Instead, the focus has been on staying in operation and hoping to ride out the economic storm.
Airline industries are also no stranger to financial threats and the risk of bankruptcy. In 2005, Delta and Northwest airlines both sought bankruptcy protection to help with debt reorganization. With economic pressures and fierce competition, many airlines are revamping the way they do business in efforts to gain a jump in the market.
Not all airlines are tacking on luggage fees, cancellation charges and hiking ticket prices to get ahead. Some airlines have shifted to alternative strategies for competing in this fragile economy.
Southwest airlines is waiting on new planes that they hope will help boost ticket sales while reducing their costs. The Boeing 737-800 will join Southwest’s’ fleet of airplanes next spring, bringing with it a larger more fuel efficient vessel for transporting passengers. By retiring older, smaller jets, such as the Boeing 717, Southwest hopes to boost profits by filling more seats for less cost in fuel.
No stranger to creative ideas, Southwest has long been the odd man out in the industry. Offering cheap one-way or regional flights for under $100 sparked the interest of many passengers. As one of the few airlines still giving out free snacks, offering open seating and not charging passengers for luggage, Southwest has maintained unique culture among the airline industry. The hope is that their exclusive approach to business ideas will land them in success once the economic storm has passed.