Gene Popma, former President/Chief Executive Officer, explains our philosophy of growth:
"We established Hubs to build teams of roughly fifty pilots. We appointed Hub Managers to be there to help pilots learn, motivate them to continue building their skills and be there for the pilots when they need help.
Our current twenty-three Hubs will accommodate a total of 1,150 pilots. Until we reach that number, we have no need to set up additional Hubs. We build Hubs for only one reason--to not overload the Hubs nor to limit the Hub Managers ability to help pilots."
Our founder, Hal Groce had this to say:
"I have concluded that being bigger is not always better. Being bigger because we stuck to our motto is great; being bigger for the sake of being bigger, is not.
I'm not sure if you've read the book "NUTS" about Southwest Airlines, but they are a perfect example of how we started. They started with a specific game plan and they stuck to it. When the time came to expand, they applied the same rules and stuck to their guns. They have been profitable since 1973! Unheard of in the airline business. We started out with a specific goal, but seem to have strayed from that goal by trying to be "more of an everything to everybody airline" rather than "focused on our niche" airline.
Two perfect real world examples of this are Peoples Express and America West. Both of these airlines started as Southwest clones - serve your niche markets and serve it well. They stuck to that, but then decided that expanding their routes outside of their niche, would be a good idea...well, Peoples Express no longer exists and America West is in Chapter 11 (or was). We need to learn from this and stick to our niche market. We do not need to make the mistake of trying to please everyone and go the way Of Peoples Express or America West.
Q: "Why don't you do X?" or "Everybody else does X, why don't you?"
A: Because X is not part of the core foundation of the airline. Our Structure is in place because that structure supports the kind of virtual airline that we want to be. It is not for everyone, and was never meant to be for everyone. If you like our structure and realistic airline Simulation, then please join us. If you do not, then another virtual Airline would better serve your needs. We appreciate your interest in WestWind and your understanding that we hold our foundation as the driving Force behind what we do and what we are.
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