DALLAS – Today, Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO spoke at the Wings Club in New York City and shared additional details on introducing the Boeing 737-800 to the Southwest fleet.
Kelly announced the Company will substitute 20 of its 737-700 orders for -800s, with the first delivery scheduled for March 2012. With both its Pilots’ and Flight Attendants’ Unions ratifying their contracts to add the -800 to their current collective bargaining agreements, the Company is continuing to finalize discussions with the Boeing Company regarding substitutions of the -800s for the -700 positions, and configuration and equipage options.
“The -800 represents many exciting opportunities for our Employees and our Customers,” Kelly said. “We are looking to the future and the -800 sets the stage to bring more destinations into the realm of possibilities for Southwest, to operate a more economical aircraft, and to offer better scheduling flexibility in high-demand, slot-controlled, or gate-restricted markets.”
The current plan is to deliver these 20, 737-800 aircraft in full Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards (ETOPS) configuration. The current configuration also includes the Boeing Company’s Sky Interior that offers a quieter cabin, improved operational security features, and LED reading and ceiling lighting.