Our recycling program diverts waste from landfills and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.Read more >>
At Southwest Airlines, we strive to comply with all environmental laws and regulations as a central tenet of our environmental policy. Each year we strive to meet our goal of zero recorded environmental violations.Read more >>
We purchase green power to reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use at our facilities and support the development of renewable energy nationwide.Read more >>
Southwest Airlines earned $178 million in 2011, marking our 39th consecutive year of profitability. No other U.S. airline can make the same claim.Read more >>
Southwest Airlines generated a record $15.7 billion of consolidated operating revenues in 2011, which was $3.6 billion, or 29.4 percent, more than 2010. Strong revenue momentum was the story throughout 2011.Read more >>
With a Servant’s Heart, our generous Employees give their time to make a positive difference.Read more >>
The integration of AirTran into the Southwest Family allows us to add more Customers, more destinations, more aircraft, and future profits to Southwest Airlines.Read more >>
Our dedicated Employees do more than deliver the friendly, high-quality Customer Service for which we’re known—they have created Southwest Airlines’ unique Culture and storied 40-year history.Read more >>
We’re dedicated to delivering the highest quality of Customer Service with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.Read more >>
The 2011 Southwest Airlines One Report™ contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are based on, and include statements about, the Company’s estimates, expectations, beliefs, intentions, and strategies for the future, and are not guarantees of future performance. Specific forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts and include, without limitation, statements related to (i) the Company’s strategic initiatives and the expected impact of the initiatives on the Company’s results of operations and its customer experience, offerings, and benefits; (ii) the Company’s financial outlook and targets; (iii) the Company’s growth plans and expectations, including fleet, capacity, and network plans, initiatives, and expectations; (iv) the Company’s plans and expectations with respect to its acquisition of AirTran, including without limitation anticipated integration timeframes and anticipated costs and benefits associated with the acquisition; and (v) the Company’s plans, initiatives, and expectations related to sustainability. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) changes in the price of aircraft fuel, the impact of hedge accounting, and any changes to the Company’s fuel hedging strategies and positions; (ii) the impact of the economy on demand for the Company’s services and the impact of fuel prices, economic conditions, and actions of competitors on the Company’s business decisions, plans, and strategies; (iii) the Company’s ability to successfully integrate AirTran and realize the expected synergies and other benefits from the acquisition; (iv) the Company’s ability to timely and effectively implement, transition, and maintain the necessary information technology systems and infrastructure to support its operations and initiatives; (v) the Company’s ability to timely and effectively prioritize its strategic initiatives and related expenditures; (vi) the Company’s dependence on third parties with respect to certain of its initiatives; (vii) the impact of governmental and other regulation related to the Company’s operations; (viii) the Company’s ability to maintain positive relations with employees and employee representatives and to timely and effectively address collective bargaining agreements; and (ix) other factors, as described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2011.
The Company’s consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP). These GAAP financial statements include (i) unrealized non-cash adjustments and reclassifications, which can be significant, as a result of accounting requirements and elections made under accounting pronouncements relating to derivative instruments and hedging, and (ii) other charges the Company believes are not indicative of its ongoing operational performance.
As a result, the Company also provides financial information in this report that was not prepared in accordance with GAAP and should not be considered as an alternative to the information prepared in accordance with GAAP. The Company provides supplemental non-GAAP financial information, including results that it refers to as “economic,” which the Company’s management utilizes to evaluate its ongoing financial performance and the Company believes provides greater transparency to investors as supplemental information to its GAAP results. The Company's economic financial results differ from GAAP results in that they only include the actual cash settlements from fuel hedge contracts—all reflected within fuel and oil expense in the period of settlement. Thus, fuel and oil expense on an economic basis reflects the Company’s actual net cash outlays for fuel during the applicable period, inclusive of settled fuel derivative contracts. Any net premium costs paid related to option contracts are reflected as a component of other (gains) losses, net, for both GAAP and non-GAAP (including “economic”) purposes in the period of contract settlement. These economic results provide a better measure of the impact of the Company’s fuel hedges on its operating performance and liquidity since they exclude the unrealized, non-cash adjustments and reclassifications that are recorded in GAAP results in accordance with accounting guidance relating to derivative instruments, and they reflect all cash settlements related to fuel derivative contracts within fuel and oil expense. This enables the Company's management, as well as investors, to consistently assess the Company’s operating performance on a year-over-year or quarter-over-quarter basis after considering all efforts in place to manage fuel expense. However, because these measures are not determined in accordance with GAAP, such measures are susceptible to varying calculations and not all companies calculate the measures in the same manner. As a result, the aforementioned measures, as presented, may not be directly comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies.
Further information on (i) the Company’s fuel hedging program, (ii) the requirements and accounting associated with accounting for derivative instruments, and (iii) the causes of hedge ineffectiveness and/or mark-to-market gains or losses from derivative instruments is included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2011, as well as subsequent quarterly filings.
In addition to its “economic” financial measures, as defined above, the Company has also provided other non-GAAP financial measures as a result of items that the Company believes are not indicative of its ongoing operations. These include 1) a 2011 charge for an asset impairment related to the Company’s decision not to equip its Classic (737-300/500) aircraft with Required Navigation Performance (RNP) capabilities; 2) 2010 and 2011 charges associated with the Company’s acquisition and integration of AirTran; 3) a one-time third quarter 2009 charge associated with Freedom ’09, an early retirement option offered to Employees; 4) a first quarter 2008 adjustment to the Company’s income tax provision due to a change in Illinois state income tax laws; 5) a third quarter 2007 charge related to the Company’s voluntary early-out program; and 6) a third quarter 2007 charge from a change in the Illinois state income tax law resulting in an increase in state income taxes, which increase was subsequently reversed in first quarter 2008 due to the reversal of the August 2007 state income tax law change. The Company believes that evaluation of its financial performance can be enhanced by a presentation of results that exclude the impact of these items in order to evaluate the results on a comparative basis with results in prior periods that do not include such items and as a basis for evaluating operating results in future periods. As a result of the Company’s acquisition of AirTran, which closed on May 2, 2011, the Company has incurred and expects to continue to incur substantial charges associated with integration of the two companies. While the Company cannot predict the exact timing or amounts of such charges, it does expect to treat the charges as special items in its future presentation of non-GAAP results.
We have provided free cash flow, which is a non-GAAP financial measure. We believe free cash flow is a meaningful measure because it demonstrates the Company’s ability to service its debt, pay dividends, and make investments to enhance Shareholder value. Although free cash flow is commonly used as a measure of liquidity, definitions of free cash flow may differ; therefore, we are providing an explanation of our calculation for free cash flow. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2011, the Company generated over $400 million in free cash flow, calculated as operating cash flows of $1.4 billion less capital expenditures of $968 million.