An Interview with Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly

Terry Maxon & Suzanne Marta:

Southwest Airlines Co. chief executive Gary Kelly doesn’t have any offers out to buy another airline, but he expects Southwest to jump in when the consolidation fun begins.
“At some point, I think we’ll probably acquire somebody,” Mr. Kelly said in a recent discussion with Dallas Morning News business editors and reporters. “There’s bound to be a scenario that we would say, ‘That scenario out of these 10, yep, that one would work for us.’ We’d want to be prepared for that opportunity that presents itself.”
Southwest’s investment in bankrupt ATA Airlines Inc. in 2004 offers a good example of being ready, he said. Of course, the airline is well aware of the pitfalls of acquiring another carrier, a strategy it followed in 1993 when it acquired Morris Air and in 1986 when it bought Muse Air.

Perhaps, one day, Madison will be fortunate to have Southwest air service.