Southwest Corporate Fact Sheet

Leadership

Gary Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, & Chief Executive Officer

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Headquarters

P.O. Box 36611
2702 Love Field Drive
Dallas, TX 75235

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About the Company

In its 44th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 46,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest operates more than 3,400 flights a day, serving 93 destinations across the United States and five additional countries. Subject to government approvals, Southwest service to San Jose, Costa Rica, begins in March 2015; service to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, begins in June 2015; and service to Belize City, Belize, begins in October 2015.

Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, a majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity while over the United States. That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to access streaming music provided by Beats Music or to view video-on-demand moves and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer Bags Fly Free® (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply), and there are never change fees, although fare differences might apply. In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look: Heart. The new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what’s important in their lives.

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. With 42 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2013 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at Southwest.com/citizenship.

Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at Southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.

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History

Southwest Airlines was incorporated in Texas and commenced Customer Service on June 18, 1971, with three Boeing 737 aircraft serving three Texas cities—Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio—and grew to become a major airline in 1989 when it exceeded the billion-dollar revenue mark. Southwest topped the monthly domestic originating passenger rankings for the first time in May 2003. In 1994, Southwest became the first major airline to offer ticketless travel. In 1996, Southwest became the first major airline to post a website with the launch of our “Home Gate” site. In 2013, Southwest launched the first Southwest service to a destination outside the 48 contiguous states with service to San Juan, Puerto Rico. In June 2014, Southwest began its first international flights to Nassau, Bahamas; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Aruba. Later in the year, Southwest continued its international launch with service to Mexico and the Dominican Republic. In 2015, Southwest international service is expected to grow to seven countries with plans to begin service to San Jose, Costa Rica; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Belize City, Belize, pending government approvals.

Read more about Southwest's Company History.

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Daily Departures

Southwest Airlines operates more than 3,400 flights a day.

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Employees

More than 46,000 People work to deliver exemplary Customer Service throughout the Southwest system.

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Stock

Common stock is traded under the symbol "LUV" on the NYSE. Southwest Airlines was the top 2014 stock price performer of the S&P 500. Southwest paid its first quarterly dividend in fourth quarter 1976. In January 2015, Southwest made its 154th consecutive quarterly dividend payment to Shareholders. In 2014, the Company returned $1.1 billion to Shareholders through repurchases of $955 million of common stock (33 million shares) and distribution of $139 million in dividends.

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2014 Financial Statistics:

  • Record quarterly net income: $465 million
  • Record quarterly net income, excluding special items: $485 million
  • Total revenue passengers carried: 29 million
  • Total RPMs: 29 billion
  • Average passenger load factor: 83.9 percent
  • Total operating revenue: $5.0 billion

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Fleet

As of December 31, 2014, Southwest operated 665 Boeing 737 aircraft:

Type Number Seats
737-300 120 137/143
737-500 13 122
737-700 447 137/143
737-800 85 175

 

  • On April 11, 2012, Southwest's first 737-800 began scheduled service.
  • In April 2012, the AirTran 737-700 fleet began transitioning to Southwest. As of December 31, 2014, 47 of the 52 AirTran 737-700s had been converted to the Southwest livery with Evolve configuration, with the remaining five in conversion.
  • The Company's fleet has an average age of approximately 12 years.
  • The Company's average aircraft trip length is 721 miles with an average duration of two hours.
  • Southwest aircraft fly an average of nearly six flights or about 10 hours and 54 minutes per day.
  • Southwest was the launch customer for the Boeing 737-700 in 1997. Southwest also was a launch customer for the Boeing 737-500 and -300 series aircraft. And, in December 2011, Southwest announced it would be the launch customer for the Boeing 737 MAX.
  • Southwest retrofitted all of its -700s and 78 of its Classic aircraft with a refreshed cabin design, Evolve, which utilizes durable and environmentally responsible products to reduce waste and create weight savings onboard the aircraft, while enhancing comfort for Customers. Cabins now feature recyclable carpet, a brighter color-scheme, and a more durable, eco-friendly, and comfortable low-profile seat that weighs less than the current seat.
  • Southwest's -800 aircraft also feature Boeing's Sky Interior. The Boeing Sky Interior offers a quieter, more comfortable environment for Customers, with taller ceilings and more overhead bin space, improved operational security features, and ambient LED reading and ceiling lighting, which is more effective as well as energy efficient and adaptable to the mood onboard the aircraft.
  • Southwest's Blended Winglet program began in 2007. All of the carrier's Boeing 737-700s and 737-800s, as well as a majority of its 737-300s, are equipped with Blended Winglets, saving the company roughly 55 million gallons of fuel annually.
  • In January 2014, Southwest announced the order of 85 Boeing Split Scimitar Winglets for its 737-800 fleet. This order allowed the retrofit of the -800s that were already in its fleet, in addition to all -800s delivered in 2014. The Split Scimitar Winglet adds new strengthened spars, aerodynamic scimitar tips, and a large ventral strake to the existing Blended Winglet. By upgrading the 737-800s with Split Scimitar Winglets, annual fuel savings are estimated to increase from approximately 3.5 percent per aircraft from Blended Winglets to approximately 5 to 5.5 percent per aircraft annually.
  • By the end of first quarter 2013, all Southwest 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft were equipped to provide satellite-based broadband internet from WiFi provider, Global Eagle Entertainment. Customers are able to enjoy free live and on-demand TV compliments of the Company's valued Partners as well as $5 movies throughout their flights, without interruption if on a mobile device or tablet due to our gate-to-gate connectivity. Customers do not need to purchase WiFi in order to access other entertainment selections within the Portal. Also, Customers can purchase Messaging service for $2 and have access to iMessage, WhatsApp, and Viber.
  • In 2013, Southwest became the first and only carrier to offer gate-to-gate connectivity. Customers may use small portable electronic devices (PEDs) in "airplane mode" from gate to gate. This means Southwest Customers may use the airline's onboard WiFi, which is available on the majority of the airline's fleet, and can stay connected from the time they step onboard a Southwest plane to the time they exit.

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Cities Served

Southwest serves 93 destinations across the United States and five near-international countries.

Download the current system map.
Download City Fact Sheets.

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Southwest Top Ten Airports By Departures:

Reflects June 2015 Schedule

 



Cities
Daily
Departures
Number of Gates Nonstop Cities Served Year
Established
              WN FL
Atlanta 124   17   39   2012 1993
Baltimore 180   25   58   1993 2001
Chicago (Midway) 212   33   64   1985 1994
Dallas (Love Field) 153   16   33   1971 -
Denver 159   22   56   2006 2003
Houston (Hobby) 146   18   42   1971 1997
Las Vegas 198   24   55   1982 2003
Los Angeles 113   10   24   1982 2003
Orlando 110   20   40   1996 1998
Phoenix 163   20   48   1982 2007

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Customer Support & Services Centers

  • Currently operates seven Customer Support and Services Centers: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, and San Antonio.
  • Southwest Airlines Customer Representatives book, on average, 57,160 reservations daily; 401,220 reservations weekly; and 1.7 million reservations monthly. Approximately 20.9 million reservations have been booked by Southwest Airlines Customer Representatives in the last 12 months.

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Fun Facts

  • Served more than 1.5 billion Customers since our inception.
  • Operated more than 22 million flights since our inception.
  • Enplaned approximately 136 million Customers during 2014, which is an average of more than ten million onboard Customers per month.
  • Received 178,299 resumes and hired 4,136 new Employees in 2014.
  • Served more than 100 million peanuts and more than 45 million pretzels in 2014.
  • In 2014, moved 208 million pounds of cargo.
  • The shortest daily Southwest flight is between Austin (AUS) and Houston Hobby (HOU) (148 miles). The longest daily Southwest flight is between Baltimore-Washington (BWI) and Oakland (OAK) (2,447 miles).
  • The Company has 1,479 married couples. In other words, 2,958 Southwest Employees have spouses who also work for the Company.

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Southwest.com

  • During 2014, 80 percent of passenger revenues were booked via Southwest.com, Swabiz.com, and Airtran.com.
  • More than 18 million people subscribe to Southwest's weekly Click 'N Save e-mails.
  • During 2014, 82 percent of Southwest Customers checked in online or at a kiosk. 
  • 61 percent of Fortune 1,000 Companies are enrolled in SWABIZ.
  • According to Keynote, Southwest.com was named the top site for overall Customer Experience among airlines and online travel agencies.
  • Southwest was the first airline to establish a home page on the Internet. Initially, five Employees comprised Southwest's web site development team, and the site took about nine months to create.
  • The "Southwest Shortcut" feature on Southwest.com is the first online tool that helps Customers find the lowest fare based on availability across an entire month.
  • DING!, a downloadable desktop application, available for both PC and MAC users, was introduced in February 2005 to notify Customers of exclusive hot offers. Southwest was the first airline to implement this type of tool.
  • In addition to flights, Customers are able to make car, hotel, and complete vacation package reservations on Southwest.com.
  • Southwest first launched an iPhone app in December 2009 and an Android app in 2011. New versions of both the mobile site and the apps were launched in 2013. In 2014, Southwest launched the capability for Customers to use a mobile boarding pass when traveling on Southwest flights.

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Distinctions

  • 42 consecutive years of annual profitability, a record unmatched in the U.S. airline industry.
  • In 2014, average passenger airfare was $159.80 one way, and the average passenger trip length was approximately 978 miles.
  • Currently files fares in more than 4,300 city-pair markets and offers nonstop service in more than 670 roundtrip markets.
  • Flight completion record was 98.8 percent in 2014.
  • Consistently received the lowest ratio of complaints per passengers boarded of all Major U.S. carriers that have been reporting statistics to the Department of Transportation (DOT) since September 1987, which is when the DOT began tracking Customer Satisfaction statistics and publishing its Air Travel Consumer Report.
  • Adopted the first profit sharing plan in the U.S. airline industry in 1973.
  • Approximately 83 percent of the Company's Employees were represented for collective bargaining purposes by labor unions in 2014.
  • Member of the FORTUNE 500.
  • In 2014, Southwest Employees volunteered more than 144,000 hours to national and local nonprofit organizations. 
  • In 2014, announced a multi-year commitment to Placemaking, a process that puts people first in the process of designing and improving public spaces. Through the Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community program, Southwest will work with pioneering non-profit Project for Public Spaces and collaborate with local community partners in cities across the country to revitalize and bring new life to public spaces. 
  • In 2014, launched LUV Seat: Repurpose with Purpose, the Company's newest global sustainability initiative that will upcycle the used leather seat coverings from the Evolve cabin retrofit into brand new products that support local communities. Through the initiative's pilot program, the products will benefit communities in Kenya, Malawi, and the United States by providing access to employment, skills training, and livelihoods. To learn more about LUV Seat, visit www.swamedia.com/luvseat.

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Recognitions

  • Named to FORTUNE Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies list for 20 consecutive years.
  • Recognized as the top travel brand and fifth overall brand by The Business Journals in the American Brand Excellence Awards.
  • Named as one of the Top Domestic Airlines by Travel + Leisure.
  • Listed #2 on Consumer Reports' Airline Customer Satisfaction Survey.
  • Received Freddie Awards for Best Loyalty Credit Card and Best Customer Service by InsideFlyer.
  • Named one of the FORTUNE 500 Green Power Partners by the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Named number one in Customer Service by the 2013 Airline Quality Ratings.
  • Recognized as one of the Top 100 Military Friendly Employers by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse.
  • Named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility magazine.
  • Recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in 2014, a Glassdoor Employees' Choice Award.
  • Named one of the National Conference on Citizenship's The Civic 50.
  • Named #2 in J.D. Power Airline Ratings in low cost.
  • Recognized by Chief Executive Group as one of the 2014 Best Companies for Leaders.
  • Named Domestic Carrier of the year for Cargo by the Airforwarders Association.
  • Received the Quest for Quality excellence in Air Cargo Award by Logistics Management magazine.
  • Named #1 in Customer Satisfaction by the U.S. Department of Transportation for 2013.
  • Recognized by Newsweek as one of America's Greenest Companies.
  • Received TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Airline of the Year award.
  • Among the top airline scores for overall customer satisfaction in the airline industry in the J.D. Power 2014 North America Airline Satisfaction Study.
  • Named Airline of the Year by Air Transport World.
  • Best Low Cost Carrier in North America award from Premier Traveler-Best of 2014.
  • Recommended Readers' Choice Award for Best Airline – Domestic.

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