Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Willem Homan

Second Advisor

Gil Sinclair


Operational Performance Management (OPM) plays a key role in any airline’s operation. In this paper we look at how Southwest Airlines and Delta Airlines differed in OPM activities for 2015 in key areas of strategic implementation that included route network, revenue management, mergers, fleet structure, fuel hedging, and the ever closing cost gap between air carriers in general. These topics prove to be vital areas that enable an airline to run properly and therefore are important areas for research. This investigation will reveal how the Southwest and Delta’s different business models affected their OPM activities and how business tactics over traditional strategic implementation resulted in success for both companies during 2015. Given the short-term focus of the U.S. airline business on financial results and the competitive nature of the industry as a whole this timely analysis will require further research in the years to come.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted