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 centered on buyers and hasn’t invested sufficient within the operation. What’s your response to that criticism?

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

We’ve a very good operations enchancment plan. Crew scheduling is an enormous a part of that. For those who simply look again on the final yr, we put, I feel, 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 carried out or that that’s sufficient.

On the shareholder query, it’s not a singular choice. We’re financially very wholesome. And due to that, we don’t need to make decisions 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 excellent will for our workers, identical to for our clients.

How do you regain the belief of your clients?

We’ve obtained a 51-year historical past of working a very 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 feel the very best factor that we will do is use this occasion as a catalyst to be even higher. This can be a nice firm, however the very best factor we will do for our clients is proceed to offer a terrific product, spend money on our product. You’ve seen us do all these issues — we’re including energy ports and bigger bins. Preserve investing in them, preserve operating a terrific operation, preserve offering terrific hospitality and be even higher.

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

We plan days and days prematurely 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 standard day. All that was happening.

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