Southwest Airlines Co. operates a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation services in the United States and near-international markets. As of December 31, 2016, the company operated a total of 723 Boeing 737 aircraft; and served 101 destinations in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as 8 near-international countries, including Mexico, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize, and Cuba. It also sells frequent flyer points and related services to business partners participating in the Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program, such as car rental agencies, hotels, restaurants, and retailers. In addition, the company operates Southwest.com, an Internet Website that enables customers to purchase and manage travel online; and Swabiz.com, a business travel reservation Web page. Southwest Airlines Co. was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
Business Analysis of Southwest Airlines
The Travel & Leisure Sector is witnessing a major shakeup, new age business models in the industry are transforming both customers and businesses. Faced with this uncertainity, companies are investing resources to transform their business. An in-depth business analysis is a valuable resource to identify and articulate the need for a business model change. At R&P Research we believe, the starting point for a business analysis is Benchmarking. Business benchmarking can be done at various levels: 1) Industry Benchmarking 2) Peer Benchmarking 3) Disruptors Benchmarking. In this report, we share the snapshot of how Southwest Airlines compares against the industry on the major performance indicators. This analysis, along with peer group/disruptors benchmarking and revenue model understanding can help identify growth and cost optimization opportunities to maximize the value delivered by Southwest Airlines to its stakeholders. R&P Research Industry Intelligence Platform provides historical data for last 15 years with an easy to use benchmarking interface for an in-depth comparative business analysis.
Here is the performance snapshot of Southwest Airlines with an interactive chart.
- Revenue Growth: Southwest Airlines reported a revenue growth of 3.1% year-on-year during 2016. Airline Industry grew at -1.0% in the same period
- COGS share of Revenues: As a percentage of revenue, Southwest Airlines spent 30.0% of its total revenues on COGS. Airline industry average (COGS share of revenue) in the same period was 38.0%
- R&D share of Revenues: Southwest Airlines R&D share of Revenues details are not available because either company does not share the data or we do not have it
- SG&A share of Revenues: As a percentage of revenue, Southwest Airlines spent 33.3% of its total revenues on Sales, Marketing, and General Administration (SG&A). Airline industry average SG&A spending in the same period was 29.6%
- Inventory share of Revenues: As a percentage of revenue, Southwest Airlines spent 1.6% of its total revenues on Inventories. Airline industry average Inventory spending in the same period was 2.2%
- Accounts Payable share of Revenues: As a percentage of revenue, Southwest Airlines invested 5.8% of its total revenues on Accounts Payable (A/P) Airline industry average Accounts Payable investment in the same period was 5.2%
- Accounts Receivable share of Revenues: As a percentage of revenue, Southwest Airlines invested 2.7% of its total revenues on Accounts Receivable (A/R). Airline industry average Accounts Receivable investment in the same period was 3.8%
- PP&E share of Revenues: As a percentage of revenue, Southwest Airlines invested 83.4% of its total revenues on Property, Plants, and Equipments (PP&E). Airline industry average PPE investment in the same period was 73.7%
- Intangibles share of Revenues: As a percentage of revenue, Southwest Airlines invested 4.7% of its total revenues on Intangibles. Airline industry average Intangibles investment in the same period was 20.3%
- Net Margins: Southwest Airlines Net Margins in the year 2016 were 11.0%. Airline industry average Net Margins in the same period were 8.6%
Sector and Industry Association of Southwest Airlines
For the purpose of performance benchmarking of a company with a sector or industry average, R&P Research associates every company with one sector and one industry. An industry consists of companies with related/similar business models. A sector comprises of a group of related/similar industries.
Southwest Airlines is associated with Travel & Leisure Sector and Airline Industry.
Travel & Leisure sector is comprised of the following industries: Airline; Car Rental Services; Casino; Hotels and Resorts; Recreational Services. The definitions for each of the industries is as follows:
- Airline industry includes companies primarily engaged in providing passenger air transport.
- Car Rental Services industry includes companies engaged in providing car rental services.
- Casino industry includes providers of gambling and casino facilities.
- Hotels and Resorts industry includes operators of hotels, motels, lodges, resorts, spas and campgrounds.
- Recreational Services industry includes providers of leisure facilities and services, such as amusement and theme parks, fitness centers, cruise lines, movie theaters, racetracks, and sports teams.
Industry Ranking of Southwest Airlines
With $20.4 billion revenues, Southwest Airlines ranked number 4 of all the companies in the US Airline industry. There were a total of 10 public companies in the US Airline industry that had revenues greater than $50 million during 2016.
The top-10 companies in the US Airline industry by revenues during 2016 were:
- American Airlines ($40.2 billion)
- Delta Airlines ($39.6 billion)
- United Continental ($36.6 billion)
- Southwest Airlines ($20.4 billion)
- JetBlue Airways ($6.6 billion)
- Alaska Air Group ($5.9 billion)
- SkyWest ($3.1 billion)
- Hawaiian Holdings ($2.5 billion)
- Spirit Airlines ($2.3 billion)
- Allegiant Travel ($1.4 billion)
Business Model Analysis (BMA) Framework
We use the following framework to assess the business model of a company. Business Model Analysis framework can be used by organizations to articulate growth strategies and identify cost optimization opportunities. Technology and consulting companies can use this framework to identify the value drivers and pain points of their targeted customers. Entrepreneurs can use this framework to understand the language of business and identify promising business opportunities. This framework can be used by any professional aspiring to take up a leadership role to better understand the businesses challenges, articulate growth strategy, and monitor the business improvement requirements for the organization.
- Conduct a holistic benchmarking; to identify and target additional sources of value
- Get in touch with us to learn more about Business Model Analysis Framework
- Get free data, charts, and analysis of Southwest Airlinesand its peers on select key performance indicators by clicking the reports provided below