For Southwest CEO, growth is a calculated risk

10/13/2010 | Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model)

The Southwest Airlines-AirTran deal is purely about growth, writes columnist Loren Steffy, because growth is what enables Southwest "to keep fares low and to pay its employees better than any other airline." By acquiring AirTran, Southwest can quickly add smaller markets and international destinations to its route network. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly admits it's a big change, and that change entails risk. But it's a risk that the company must take, he says: "You can't stand still. You can't be what you were in 1995."

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