Southwest Airlines’ Mission and Corporate Culture


Southwest Airlines is one of America’s prime airlines and the world’s biggest low-cost carrier. The company’s head office is in Dallas, Texas, and it operates in 121 different destinations in the US and ten other countries(Cote, 2018). The airline was started by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher, who named it Southwest Co., in March 1967 (Cote, 2018). The two were inspired by the idea of carrying passengers to their terminuses on time, with the lowest applicable fares, and ensuring they have a good time during the journey. The airline has a long history of returning shareholder value. The growth of Southwest Airlines is attributed to its mission statement and purpose, which significantly contribute to its culture of service.

Mission and Culture

Southwest Airlines connects people to value through low-cost, reliable, and friendly air travel. The organization’s position as a leading low-cost commercial air travel firm is due to the aforementioned statement, enabling it to dominate the competitive global industry. Southwest offers employees an equal chance for personal development and learning (Flamholtz & Randle, 2020). The organization also has a robust point-to-point service network with a solid presence in top business and leisure markets. Southwest Airlines has succeeded in service for over fifty years because it has differentiated itself from other air carriers by delivering exemplary customer service. Offering low-cost travel is core in aviation operations management and has driven the organization’s expansion over the years.

The three elements of Southwest’s culture are celebration, appreciation, and recognition. The company’s mission is to provide excellent service to clients with a sense of personal pride, warmth, and friendliness. The strategic objectives for high operations standards in Southwest relates to customer service through marketing communications for the corporate aviation market and client support, representing this mission. Therefore, the organization’s corporate mission statement stresses customer experience as a crucial variable in estimating operational effectiveness, business performance, and corporate strategies, such as those used in the firm’s 4Ps marketing mix (Cote, 2018). The significance of desirable behaviors as an aspect that appeals to passengers is also reflected in the company’s mission statement. These factors are associated with human resource management as it determines how employees behave towards each other and externally towards customers.


To conclude, the organizational culture of Southwest Airlines is significant in achieving the firm’s mission. The company’s corporate mission designates commercial strategies that focus on leadership in terms of customer relations and experience, and human resource management. Consequently, these action areas significantly impact the airline’s marketing strategies linked to how the carrier presents itself as a better alternative to other leading airlines. Generally, the culture of Southwest Airlines is embedded in all aspects of its business operations and employee relations. It reflects how the employees behave around one another and how the organization puts its workers first.


Cote, R. (2018). Leadership analysis: Southwest Airlines-Herb Kelleher, CEO. Journal of Leadership, Accountability & Ethics, 15(1), 113-124. Web.

Flamholtz, E., & Randle, Y. (2020). Corporate culture. Stanford University Press.

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