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Therefore, Air Southwest changed its name to Southwest Airlines in 1971. At the same time, Boeing proposed to sell three 737-200s to Southwest Airlines, which was undertaken by the airline. While Braniff and Texas International are still in dispute with Southwest Airlines and are trying to prevent the airline from operating. The Civil Aeronautics Commission (CAB), which strictly regulates the United States civil aviation market, rejected the airline’s complaint. Therefore, the two turned to the Texas court for help. However, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled Southwest Airlines in favor. Finally, Southwest Airlines made its first flight on June 18th. The flight made six round-trips between Dallas (DAL) and San Antonio (SAT) and 12 round-trips between Dallas and Houston (IAH). In the fall, Southwest Airlines operates 14 round-trips per hour between Dallas and Houston, and 7 round-trips per hour between Dallas and San Antonio. The airline also completes the Texas triangle by inaugurating flights between Houston-Hobby (HOU) and SAT.

There is a $13 Fare War between Southwest Airlines and Braniff in 1973. Braniff offered a $13 fare between Dallas and Houston, which was the only profitable route for Southwest Airlines at the time as a hope to ease competition. In response, Southwest Airlines offered a basic fare of US$13 or a full-price ticket of US$26, including a free bottle of premium wine. In this fare war, Southwest Airlines became the largest distributor of premium wines in Texas, such as Chivas, Crown Royal and Smirnoff for two months. In 1973, the airline achieved its first annual profit. But there were still only had three 737s in the airline’s fleet.

The long court battle is trying to close down the Love Field during that time. However, Southwest Airlines fought for and has the right to stay at the airport, which is still an important hub for its operations. The airline added its fifth 737 and started service to the Rio Grande Valley with flights to Harlingen and soon listed on the American Stock Exchange under the stock code ‘LUV’. Furthermore, the airline obtained the right to expand to Austin (AUS), Corpus Christi (CRP), El Paso (ELP), Lubbock (LBB) and Midland (MAF) in 1976 and Southwest Airlines had total of 10 737 aircraft in its fleet by the end of 1977.

Southwest Airlines sought to expand after deregulation. The airline orders for more Boeing 737 aircraft due to they have given traffic rights between HOU and New Orleans and provide services to Amarillo (AMA). Southwest and Braniff had then resolved their differences in 1978 and Braniff even leased Boeing 727-200 to Southwest Airlines, which is the only non-737 aircraft in the history of the airline. Since Southwest Airlines had opened up to more places, they went to Boeing and told them that if Boeing were to develop this aircraft, it would be interested in buying 10 new 737-300s, plus 10 options in 1981. Boeing did finally take a step towards the 737 Classic series, and Southwest Airlines ordered 10 of these models in the same year. Southwest Airlines increased its fleet of flights and began to modify its jets to include leather interiors and warm earth tones. So, its fleet has increased to 46 aircraft at the end of 1983.

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Southwest Airlines unveiled the first Boeing 737-500 in early 1990. The airline called it the newest, most technologically advanced and quietest aircraft in the world at that time and the airline added its 100th aircraft which is the Boeing 737-500 in May 1990. By the end of 1995, Southwest Airlines had 224 aircraft in its fleet and increasingly recognized in the United States. They also maintained this trend in the past ten years and maintained a high level of customer satisfaction. Therefore, it had owned 312 aircraft in it fleet and flew over 810,000 trips in 1999.

Southwest Airlines performed strongly in 2001, it continues to grow and develop, while also preparing for the future through administrative succession planning. However, 9/11 the industry downturn in aviation followed. The scale of expansion was reduced in 2002 compared to before but the airline still hit 375 aircraft and carried more than 60 million passengers. By 2003, the airline had added its 60th destination, Philadelphia, and had flown more than 65 million passengers with a fleet of 388 aircraft. In 2004, Southwest Airlines passed 400 aircraft in its fleet.

Southwest Airlines is mainly a domestic transportation company. However, its passengers do want to travel abroad. Therefore, the airline obtained the necessary license to implement code sharing with Canadian airline WestJet. In 2009, to continue to expand into major markets, the airline added flights to LaGuardia, New York. By 2011, the airline is one of the largest customers and operators of aircraft and there were 698 aircraft in the airline’s fleet with more than 100 million passengers.

Southwest and AirTran received FAA approval for a single operating certificate, which was a crucial part of the integration of the two airlines on March 1st, 2012. Southwest Airlines was focused on its domestic market before the airline acquired AirTran, so after it acquired AirTran, it launched its first international service in Baltimore in 2014, flying directly to Aruba. Since then, the airline has expanded its service to Central America and the Caribbean. On August 30, 2017, Southwest Airlines received its first Boeing 737 MAX 8, which was the first aircraft in North America. The aircraft began service on October 1st from Dallas to Houston on flight. Finally, in 2019, Southwest Airlines added a long-missing part of its route network: Hawaii. Thus, the carrier seen success in the market.

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