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A Year in Review

I have been fortunate to be part of the Southwest Airlines Family for nearly 30 years, and I have been proud to serve as CEO for the past ten. But I can unequivocally say that this year has been the most fulfilling in my career, as 2014 will go down as one of the most monumental in Southwest’s history.  

This banner year marks the end of one era and the dawn of another, as the long restrictive shackles of the Wright Amendment have been lifted, allowing us to offer direct flights from our home base at Dallas Love Field to new markets. Of equal significance, for the very first time we have spread our wings into international territory with service to destinations outside the United States.  

But 2014 may be best known as the year that Southwest turned the corner on a bold transformation plan designed to prepare us for the realities currently facing the airline industry. We embarked on the transformation four years ago, preparing for the de-mands of longer-haul flying to places south of the border and expanding our presence in markets that were once inaccessible to us, like New York and Washington, D.C.  

I suppose it’s only fitting that this year will culminate with the completion of the AirTran Airways integration, which has been the single biggest project in our Company’s history and our highest priority for the past three years. We acquired AirTran in 2011 and have been hard at work ever since, combining our two airlines into one. On December 28, AirTran will make its final voyage, which will mark the completion of the integration and result in one airline with one Customer Service Experience, one flight schedule, one Frequent Flyer program, and one brand.

In the midst of all these exciting changes, we introduced a new visual expression of our brand in September with a new livery, logo, and bold look that’s visible across our Company. The new look is centered around a Heart, which serves as our foundation and symbolizes our commitment to remain true to our core values and low-fare philosophy as we seek to spread the LUV to the rest of the world. Thank you for coming along for the ride, and Happy Holidays!   

 

Gary Kelly

Chairman, President, and CEO

Southwest Airlines

 

 

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