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Southwest’s plan to serve La Guardia would not have been possible without La Guardia’s administration’s intentional decision to create a more up-to-date run airport and to reduce cost and make La Guardia Airport more competitive to attract new carriers, new destinations, and new services for their customers.16 slots became available due to ATA Airlines ceasing operations (Heskett & Sasser, 2013). Southwest owns and retains all ownership of the operating certificate and all assets held by ATA Airlines including trademarks, logos, etc. These were purchased for $7.5 million by Southwest while ATA was operating under bankruptcy protection.

Southwest Airlines’ plan to serve La Guardia impacts the central company functions of marketing and operations. Administration of marketing and operations coordinated efforts in their decision-making to ensured that marketing accurately reflects current operations and that operations also maintain association with marketing. Southwest must promote the addition of airports in an attempt to boost the possibility of present and upcoming customers of La Guardia. Southwest initially used non-congested airports, serving La Guardia would potentially affect Southwest’s current operations of guaranteeing fast turn-around times and low-cost flights (Heskett & Sasser, 2013). La Guardia is a congested airport, it will likely present challenges with operations such as unstable flight delays (Heskett & Sasser, 2013). Therefore, Southwest used marketing to underline the benefits of serving La Guardia and clarity about any possible alterations in operations. This is necessary to retain the confidence of customers while also meeting their needs. Collaboration and shared decision-making between marketing and operations help to resolve problems and strengthen Southwest’s image as a trusted business (Daft, 2014). Contact between the management of marketing and operations is necessary to guarantee the success of each department and contribute to the overall plan’s success.

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Southwest Airlines (SWA) plan to begin serving customers flying in and out of La Guardia airport had an impact on their finance and operations business functions. The finance operations were affected as a recommended $7.5 million bid was planned to bid for the 16 slots becoming available due to ATA Airlines ceasing operations (Heskett & Sasser, 2013). There are other associated costs with offering service to La Guardia as well as costs not in SWA’s control that needed to be considered to ensure the airline would remain profitable. Used to fixed cost structure, SWA was learning to adapt to a variable cost structure because of high fuel costs (Heskett & Sasser, 2013). The high fuel costs made it more financially sound to park the airplane versus operating it (Heskett & Sasser, 2013).


Daft, R., (2013). Management( 11th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Heskett, J., & Sasser, W. Jr., (2013). Southwest Airlines: In a Different World. Boston, Ma.: Harvard Business School. HBS No.:910-419.

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