Following are the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats of the Southwest Airline.

Strengths

• Southwest Airlines is known to be one of the major low cost airline leaders and an initiator in being a low cost carrier.

• According to the number of passengers, Southwest has been termed as the largest airline in the world.

• It has quite a diversified management, which makes it more efficient in handling crisis.

• As the initiator for being a low cost carrier, it managed to score a lot of revenue.

• It is known to be the third largest fleet for carrying passengers in the aircraft industry all over the world.

• By posting a profit for the 36th consecutive year in January 2009, it is known to be one of the most profitable airlines in the industry.

• The Short trips that were without any frills were one of the major reasons for Southwest’s popularity.

• It has a simple fare structure, and it is one of the basic reasons which made this company successful.

• It has a positive organizational culture and encourages a positive and warm employee culture.

• It gives the option to the customer to change reservations without paying any additional costs.

Weaknesses

• It has not offered any segmented seating i-e. There is no business class or 1st class seating arrangement.

• Most of the employees are members of the employee union.

• Carries an insignificant amount of cargo/freight.

• It uses only the Boeing 737 as its aircraft, so it has a single producer.

• A minority of the tickets are purchased through agents.

Opportunities

• There are still many National and International markets that are still not tapped, and Southwest can expand to those markets.

• There are many industrial opportunities for development in the airline industry.

• It can get the latest technology that would give it a further cost effective lead, as well as providing new services/products.

• Hispanic population growth is regarded as a plus point that will make the young generation potential customers for the airline.

• It can haul on longer flights, to cover more expansion.

• It can also tap the business travel option for the business class passengers, and offer private flights.

Threats

• Online ticket reservation system by the competitors.

• Decrease in the air travel demand.

• Fuel price hauls and fluctuations are a major reason for the Southwest for not incurring more profitable operations. (Southwest counters this by strict financial spending on fuel i-e fuel-hedging).

• Terrorist activities make it more of a threat for air travel.

• Annual airline security cost increment.

• Limitations regarding the terms and legal obligations.