Randy Babbitt of Southwest Airlines spoke at last year's World Low Cost Airlines Congress Americas.

An End of (Airline) History ?

An End of (Airline) History ? The dawn of US Deregulation in the late 1970’s heralded a new and dynamic era in bringing positive market expansion and historically low fares to Customers. Other than Southwest Airlines, it brought financial turmoil and staff dislocation to all the airlines in the US industry, and eventually, similar dislocations to many established carriers in the world.

This disruption led to tremendous growth in air travel, especially in the domestic US market. Low fares, new nonstop routes, and seat availability enabled people to consider travel that was previously unavailable or cost prohibitive for them. Key patterns that emerged over the years included:

  • New entrants to the US domestic market (People’s Express and America West)
  • Introduction of the modified low cost model in Europe (Ryanair and easyJet)
  • Evolution of the US marketplace post 9/11
  • New technology to help improve operations and reduce costs

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Do you offer a solution or service that can help airlines evolve and overcome the challenges of finding new sources of revenue? Then you need to be at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in London. The agenda is already being developed and we have a limited amount of opportunities to take part. For more information call Martyn McMurray directly on +44 (0)20 7092 1284.

About the author

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Pete McGlade’s career has evolved from management trainee to executive leadership. Although born in Newry, Co. Down, Ireland, Mr. McGlade grew up in New York City and Yonkers, New York.

After earning a BS in General Management from Purdue University in 1975, Mr. McGlade worked as a supervisor in a cheese packaging plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin. 1975 was also a very difficult economic year to be graduating from college, and this position helped develop skills which could be transferred to an operational position at an airline.

Obtaining an operations management trainee position at Northwest Orient in 1976 provided exposure and experience in all facets of airline operations. Subsequently, the opportunity to be a ramper, ticket agent, ramp supervisor and assistant station manager was made available during his 4 years of employment with Northwest Orient.

With the dawn of deregulation, Mr. McGlade was fortunate to work with 2 small entrepreneurial airlines, Aircal and PSA. From 1980 through 1983, he was able to combine his operations experience with his academic background to create an early Revenue Management Department, and develop planning skills necessary for the evolving market place requirements that deregulation required.

Mr. McGlade’s employment at Southwest Airlines began in 1983, where he has had the opportunity to help grow and develop a regional carrier of 39 aircraft to become the dominant U.S. domestic airline with over 700 scheduled aircraft.

Pete retired from Southwest at the end of 2014 and presently consults for Southwest Airlines on Strategic Commericial issues, as well as for International Carriers not headquartered in the continental United States.