Southwest Airlines Announces Operational Leadership Promotions

Southwest Airlines® (NYSE: LUV) announced today several Leadership changes among the Company's deep bench of top talent.  The changes present opportunities for both promotions and new challenges for current Southwest Leaders, as the carrier continues its focus on delivering world-class Reliability and Hospitality.     

Craig Drew, previously Vice President, Flight Operations, has been promoted to a new position as Senior Vice President, Air Operations.  This position will consolidate oversight of all the operating teams associated with moving aircraft including Flight Operations, Cabin Services, the Network Operations Control Center (NOC), and Regulatory Programs & Compliance.

Alan Kasher, previously Managing Director, Regulatory Programs & Compliance, has been promoted to the Vice President, Flight Operations.

Mike Hafner, previously Vice President, Cabin Services, will shift his focus and assume a newly created role of Vice President, Customer Services.

Sonya Lacore has been promoted to Vice President, Cabin Services, and will report to Craig Drew.  Sonya was previously Senior Director, Onboard Experience and Support.   

"As our business has evolved and grown more complex over time, it's more important than ever that we have the best support possible to provide the foundation and flexibility that will enable Southwest Airlines' success well into the future," said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  "We have several large-scale Company-wide initiatives underway that are crucial to our future success, and I'm so proud to have such a talented and experienced group of Leaders to lead the way." 

In its 45th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 48,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually.  Southwest operates more than 3,600 flights a day, serving 97 destinations across the United States and seven additional countries.

Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity.  That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to access streaming music provided by Apple Music or to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created Transfarency℠, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free®  to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look:  Heart.  The new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo, showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what's important in their lives.

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets.  With 42 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2014 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at

Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.


SOURCE Southwest Airlines

Stay Connected

For Reporters Seeking
Answers to Questions

Phone 214-792-4847, Opt. 1


Additional Contacts