Why does Southwest want a jet with a longer range?

From:         Stephen L Nicoud <stephen.nicoud@boeing.com>
Date:         08 Feb 94 02:15:58 PST
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In response to a recent query about Southwest's purchase of the
Next-Generation 737, I forward this article which appeared in a Boeing

   When Southwest Airlines ordered the longer-range Next- Generation
   737, speculation began that it might move away from its traditional
   short-haul markets when it takes first delivery in 1997.
   "Southwest's bread and butter markets always have been less than 450
   miles, while the 737-X can fly transcontinental distances," said
   Julius Maldutis of Salomon Brothers of New York.  "Either Southwest
   perceives some extraordinary opportunities in U.S.  long-haul markets
   by the end of the decade or it sees a growing risk to its traditional
   short-haul strategy."  Another New York analyst sees the order as a
   response from Chairman Herb Kelleher to the US majors who are talking
   of copying Southwest.  He suggests Kelleher's retort could be: "With
   this plane, I can take on anything you do to me.  If you try to trash
   me at Midway or in California, I can throw the plane into the Los
   Angeles-Chicago market, charge a $79 fare and trash you."  Dave
   Ridley, Southwest director of sales and marketing, maintains the
   order is merely a continuation of the airline's "traditional
   conservative expansion plan of adding some 12 to 15 new planes per
   year."  He concedes, however, that the longer range "opens up options
   for us should we choose to fly greater distances."  (Airline

Stephen L Nicoud  <stephen.nicoud@Boeing.Com>     bcstec!bcsaic!stephen.nicoud
This message does not represent the views of Boeing.  I am not a Boeing
spokesperson.  I reserve the right to revise, extend and/or revoke my remarks.