HomeTechnologyBob Jordan, Southwest Airlines’ CEO, on What Went Wrong

Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines’ CEO, on What Went Wrong

Your unions say that for years, Southwest has been too targeted on buyers and hasn’t invested sufficient within the operation. What’s your response to that criticism?

I’ve been requested quite a bit about whether or not we have now antiquated expertise. We spend a billion {dollars} a 12 months on expertise right here at Southwest. And, like each firm, there are all the time issues which can be brand-new, like our upkeep system, and there are all the time issues that you simply’re engaged on.

We’ve got a extremely good operations enchancment plan. Crew scheduling is a giant a part of that. When you simply look again on the final 12 months, we put, I believe, eight new variations of SkySolver in. We’ve employed 120 crew schedulers. We put management over crew scheduling and realigned ourselves. I’m not saying for a minute that we’re executed or that that’s sufficient.

On the shareholder query, it’s not a singular determination. We’re financially very wholesome. And due to that, we don’t need to make selections between investing in expertise or investing in our shareholders. Throughout the holidays, we went to premium pay, we provided gratitude pay, we did gestures of fine will for our staff, similar to for our clients.

How do you regain the belief of your clients?

We’ve obtained a 51-year historical past of working a extremely good airline and having terrific service. That didn’t change simply because we had this occasion.

That doesn’t dismiss the truth that we tousled. I believe one of the best factor that we are able to do is use this occasion as a catalyst to be even higher. It is a nice firm, however one of the best factor we are able to do for our clients is proceed to offer an important product, put money into our product. You’ve seen us do all these issues — we’re including energy ports and bigger bins. Preserve investing in them, maintain working an important operation, maintain offering terrific hospitality and be even higher.

Are you able to assist us perceive if you knew issues had been going actually unsuitable round Christmas?

We plan days and days upfront for storms, hurricanes — all these issues. We watch the operation day-after-day; our leaders are on many calls a day simply to grasp how we’re doing. I’m on a number of calls a day, on a traditional day. All that was happening.



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