I have selected a combination of two U.S. airlines, Southwest and Continental, to illustrate how these seven elements, as well as culture, come together.3
When Southwest decided to challenge the historical airline business model, it identified several strategic assumptions or pillars (see Figure 2.3
) that, if executed well, would allow the company to outmaneuver long established rivals, resulting in greater profitability. Three of those pillars included:
• Leveraging of aircraft—a major cost in the airline business—more effectively than their competitors by creating faster turnaround of planes, operating from less congested airports, and standardizing repair and management ...