Southwest Airlines 2008 GSE Awards

Following its annual GSE awards tradition that began in 2000, Southwest Airlines bestowed honors to its top GSE shops and service contractor of 2008.

The five award categories included “large top shop,” “small top shop,” and “above and beyond.”

And for the second year, the airline awarded one of its capital suppliers the Equipment Supplier of the Year Award. The management and GSE staff at the airline gathered to select a capital supplier for the honor. The criteria considered for the award includes on-time deliveries, equipment reliability, customer service, parts support and training. And this year, Southwest selected Charlatte of America.

For Rob Lamb, vice president sales and marketing at Charlatte of America, the award affirms what the company has strived for in its role as a supplier. “The biggest challenge of this niche industry of GSE is taking the order and delivering the product on time, whether it’s going to New York, California or Florida, a lot of suppliers struggle with delivering 10, 20 or 30 within the window it had promised,” he says. “We were very successful with that, not only with Southwest but other airlines as well.”

Lamb says the company has also focused on the quality of its product and service levels, which has set it apart. “There isn’t a whole lot of customer service to be had out there in these tough times,” Lamb says.

Larry Laney, director of GSE at Southwest Airlines, says the award is an opportunity to encourage all suppliers in the industry to provide the best possible service. “We would like to see some of the other carriers do something similar and try to raise the bar in all of those areas with our suppliers,” he says.

The following is the list of recipients of the 2008 Southwest Airlines GSE awards:

Mechanic of the Year: Jim Prepura at Chicago Midway Airport

Large Shop of the Year:  Dallas Love Field Airport

Small Shop of the Year:  San Diego International Airport

Above and Beyond Kick Tail Award: Jeff Taylor at Oakland International Airport

Ground Support Service Contractor of the Year:  ASIG at Bradley International Airport

Capital Supplier of the Year: Charlatte of America