DALLAS, May 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On the heels of the airline's Annual Meeting of Shareholders and announcement of expanded international service, Southwest Airlines® (NYSE: LUV) released its sixth annual, award-winning integrated report, found at southwestonereport.com. Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO Gary Kelly shared his thoughts on the 2014 One Report and the carrier's successful year on his LinkedIn Influencer page. To view a video of Gary introducing the Report, click here.
Kelly said, "I am immensely proud to say that 2014 will go down as one of the most monumental years in Southwest's history, chock-full of major milestones and historic events—a banner year that we started planning for in 2010 when we laid out our five-year strategic plan. In short, 2014 was epic!
"It marks the end of one era and the dawn of another as the restrictions of the Wright Amendment were lifted*, allowing us to offer additional nonstop service from our home in Dallas. Of equal significance, we spread our wings into international territory and expanded our presence in markets that were once inaccessible to us, like New York City and Washington, D.C.
"We continued our commitment to efficient operations by signing an agreement to purchase low-carbon renewable jet fuel and remained on track with our fleet modernization efforts. I suppose it is only fitting that 2014 culminated with the completion of the AirTran Airways integration, which has been arguably the biggest project in our Company's history.
"In celebration of all these exciting changes, we introduced a bold, new look with a new livery and logo. The new look is centered around a heart, which serves as our foundation and symbolizes our commitment to remain true to our Core Values and low-fare philosophy as we seek to spread our Hospitality and Reliability to the rest of the world, because without a Heart, it's just a machine. We accomplished all of this and more in 2014 while returning significant value to our Shareholders, surpassing our financial target of at least 15 percent pre-tax return on invested capital, excluding special items (ROIC); maintaining a job-secure environment for our People; spreading our Hospitality to our communities; and achieving our 42nd consecutive year of profitability—a record that is unmatched in the U.S. airline industry. Further, our common stock (LUV) was the top performer of the S&P 500. Indeed, 2014 was proof positive of our ongoing commitment to the triple bottom line."
The carrier's triple bottom line approach takes into account Southwest's Performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the Planet. The 2014 One Report also features the major headlines of the year, including the launch of international service, the repeal of the Wright Amendment, the integration of AirTran Airways, the airline's innovative LUVSeat upcycling Program, and the opening of a brand new LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver-certified Training and Operational Support facility in Dallas.
Key highlights that can be found in the 2014 One Report include:
- Reported record net income of $1.1 billion
- Recognized as the top stock performer of the S&P 500 with a 125 percent increase
- Returned $1.1 billion to Shareholders through repurchases of $955 million of common stock (33 million shares) and payment of $139 million in dividends
- Reduced long-term debt and capital lease obligations by $261 million, net of debt issuance Completed the integration of AirTran Airways, achieving net pre-tax synergies of approximately $500 million (excluding acquisition and integration expenses)
- Transitioned AirTran Airways Employees into Southwest, creating one Family
- Allocated the largest total dollar amount ever to the Company's ProfitSharing Plan
- Introduced a multi-year program, Heart of the Community, as part of Southwest's community outreach in placemaking
- In 2014, Southwest donated more than $20 million in corporate monetary, in-kind, and ticket donations to the communities the carrier serves
- Reached 26 percent improvement in jet fuel efficiency on revenue ton miles per gallon basis compared with 2005
- Decreased absolute greenhouse gas emissions for the second year in a row due to continued improvements in fuel efficiency
- Continued renewable energy commitments for a total of more than 50 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy in 2013 and 2014
- Ranked first among the four largest U.S. domestic passenger airlines and fourth overall for in-service fuel efficiency, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) report
Based on the Company's outstanding year in 2014, the airline has again been named to Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for its commitment to Employees and the communities in which they work and live. Southwest Airlines was named in the top 25 and the only commercial airline to make Corporate Responsibility Magazine's List, with especially high scores in the following categories:
- Financial performance
- Human rights
- Environmental activity
- Climate change
Southwest's strong performance in these categories underscores the airline's commitment to a triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet.
To arrive at Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, the program audits and ranks Russell 1000 companies across seven corporate and social responsibility initiatives: environmental activity, climate change, human rights, employee relations, corporate governance, philanthropy and financial performance. Corporate Responsibility Magazine collects data on each company, including sending out an extensive questionnaire and asking companies to verify Corporate Responsibility Magazine's initial report. Learn more about the methodology here.
* Restrictions still apply with respect to destinations beyond the 50 United States or District of Columbia.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 44th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 47,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest operates more than 3,600 flights a day, serving 94 destinations across the United States and six additional countries. Southwest service to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, begins on June 7, 2015; and subject to government approvals, service to Belize City, Belize, begins October 15, 2015. Southwest will begin serving Liberia, Costa Rica, on November 1, 2015, subject to foreign government approval.
Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity while over the United States. That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to access streaming music provided by Beats Music or to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply) to everyone, and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look: Heart. The new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo, showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what's important in their lives.
From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets. With 42 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2014 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at SouthwestOneReport.com.
Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at Southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.
SOURCE Southwest Airlines