Southwest asks its employees for ideas – SFGate

Posted: August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

AIRLINES

Southwest seeks workers’ ideas

Southwest Airlines Co., which has curbed fleet expansion on higher fuel prices, began asking employees this week to help it stay competitive by finding ways to save $5 a day.

The program repeats an initiative used by then-Chief Executive Officer Herb Kelleher in 2000, when the airline’s fuel costs rose 63 percent.

Southwest will choose from among the best ideas later this year and implement them, CEO Gary Kelly told workers in a weekly recorded message.

Southwest is under growing pressure to trim spending as higher labor and fuel expenses erode its cost advantage over larger rivals.

The carrier has to keep its expenses lower than competitors to remain profitable while offering discount fares.

Southwest’s cost advantage over so-called legacy carriers such as Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. has fallen by half as those carriers restructured in bankruptcy. Southwest’s fares also have moved closer to competitors’, Kelly has said.

via Southwest asks its employees for ideas – SFGate.

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