Business Analysis

Southwest Airlines Vrio Analysis

A Complete Vrio Analysis of Southwest Airlines

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Vrio refers to value, rarity, imitability, and organization. And the Vrio framework is a calculative planning tool that evaluates a company's internal environment and capabilities. Its research gives a realistic assessment of a firm, allowing managers to understand their organization's strengths and weaknesses better. It helps them improve their weaknesses and establish plans to boost their internal resources and keep a competitive advantage. Vrio tools serve as a reference for setting the company's essential resource priorities.

No other firm will try to use rare resources since they are expensive to reproduce. Vrio has a substantial influence on the strategic orientation of the organization. We will investigate the Southwest Airlines vrio analysis example in this article. 

Southwest Airlines Company Overview 

Southwest Airlines is one of the world's top and award-winning airlines, providing one-of-a-kind value and hospitality at 121 airports in 11 countries. Southwest, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021, started flight in 1971, intending to democratize the skies via pleasant, dependable, low-cost air travel and currently flies more travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline1. Southwest, based in Dallas and known for its employee-first business culture, has an exceptional record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By enabling its almost 59,000 employees to provide outstanding service, the daring airline has passionate devotion from 130 million customers transported each year.


Southwest airlines


Transport and logistics


Bob Jordan


15 March 1967


Dallas, Texas, U.S.

Revenue (2021)

12.7 Billion Dollars

Southwest-Airlines-vrio-analysis-1 (1).png

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Southwest Airlines Vrio Analysis

Southwest Airlines has had rapid expansion during the previous 35 years sustaining significant expansion year after year, and has remained profitable for 33 consecutive years by employing a low-cost, passenger-friendly, point-to-point operational approach. While Southwest has increased its market share in recent years, traditional carriers have struggled because of poor market circumstances. The airline sector got hit by high labor expenses, rising energy prices, and decreased customer demand. Southwest has grown in the challenging airline sector because its minimal frills business model focuses on cost containment.

Southwest prioritizes routes with high customer demand. The extensive knowledge of its workers enables Southwest to swiftly turn around aircraft and keep its flights in the air for more extended periods than competitors. Even though the airline sector looks to be on the mend, Southwest has firmly established itself as a pricing leader and a market force, with the lowest CASM of any airline. Southwest has enjoyed phenomenal expansion in the aviation business, progressively stealing market share from the legacy carriers. However, Southwest's success has resulted in significant changes in the airline industry's market circumstances, just like the Southwest airlines vrio analysis. 

The Vrio analysis of Southwest airlines evaluates resources and capabilities based on the following criteria: 

• Value

 • Rare

 • Inimitable

 • Organization


A resource or capability falls under the vrio framework if it helps the firm capitalize on opportunities or reduce environmental risks. A resource does not boost a company's competitive position if it does not allow it to avoid hazards or capitalize on opportunities. Indeed, some scholars suggest that having resources that do not meet the VRIO value requirement puts the firm at a competitive disadvantage.


The Southwest airlines vrio analysis explains that common, but valued resources do not have a competitive advantage. Instead, considerable resources shared by numerous adversaries allow them to fight on an equal playing field. However, when a company maintains control of limited resources in the industry, it has a competitive advantage. They might be able to capitalize on opportunities or reduce risks in ways that others who lack the resource cannot.


An inimitable commodity or asset (the inverse of imitable) is difficult to copy or substitute. A resource is unique and non-substitutable if it is difficult for another firm to obtain or replace anything else in its place. If other firms do not get the resource or a near equivalent later, a valuable and rare resource or capability will give a competitive advantage.


The fourth and final vrio analysis example criteria, which examines whether such an asset or capacity is a source of competitive advantage, recognizes that mere possession or control is necessary but insufficient to gain an advantage. To leverage the resources, the corporation must also have organizational capabilities. Consider if the organization has the power. Consider corporate ownership regarding how much it would cost in terms of time, money, or both to replicate the ability.






Competitive Advantage







Strong Global presence 


Yes, since it diversifies revenue streams and isolates the financial sheet from economic fluctuations.

yes, can be imitated



Competitive advantage 

Brand Equity





Competitive Advantage







competitive advantage 

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Key Takeaways 

vrio analysis of Southwest airlines is strategic management and analytical tool that visually illustrates examining a company's internal resources. Southwest airlines vrio analysis is a must-read for all airline industries to classify physical and immaterial resources. In addition, organizations can use PDF Agile, a sophisticated PDF tool, to make your pdf-related tasks more accessible and more pleasant.


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