DALLAS - Southwest Airlines has selected the Customer seats for its future Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX aircraft deliveries. The carrier, in partnership with Boeing, will be the first to roll out the new seats, beginning mid-2016, on new deliveries of its Boeing 737-800. B/E Aerospace, who designed and engineered the seats, unveiled the new product today at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany.
In 2011, Southwest Airlines led the industry by announcing it would be the launch customer of Boeing's new 737 MAX aircraft with the first delivery expected in 2017. As the operator of the largest Boeing 737 fleet in the world, Southwest will continue with tradition and lead the industry as the launch customer for the next generation in aircraft seating.
"The new aircraft seats are the widest economy seats available in the single-aisle 737 market, and offer a unique design that gives our Customers what they asked for: more space," said Bob Jordan, Southwest's Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. "Serving as the launch customer for this seat is just one of several upcoming milestones related to our bold, new look launched in September of last year, and is specifically aimed at enhancing our Customer Experience."
The newly-designed seats, which will be seen on new 737-800s beginning mid-2016 join other significant brand milestones, including cabin interior updates on Southwest's 737-700s which will begin later this year, and continued 737-800 deliveries in the new Heart livery. The industry-leading seats are wider than current seats, and include an adjustable headrest and increased legroom, as well as more personal stowage, while decreasing the overall weight of the product.
"The new, lighter seat allows us to continue to improve our fuel efficiency," said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "This seat selection is just one more reason we are enthusiastic about our fleet modernization plans."
The company's ongoing fleet modernization effort also includes the transition of AirTran's Boeing 717-200 aircraft out of the fleet, the replacement of Boeing Classic aircraft with Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, and the projected launch of the 737 MAX aircraft in 2017.
When it enters service, the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft -a brand new aircraft- will offer improved fuel efficiency, along with significantly reduced emission levels, and will provide the lowest operating costs among single-aisle aircraft. The seats are the first element of the 737 MAX aircraft interior to be released by Boeing and Southwest to the public. The Southwest seat color -a variant of Southwest's Bold Blue- has been chosen, and the seats will be upholstered with eLeather, a composition leather made of natural leather fibers. eLeather, which made its debut on Southwest aircraft in 2012, is manufactured using eco-friendly technology including state-of-the-art techniques which closed-loop recycles 95 percent of the processed water, and converts its own waste streams into energy feeding back into the process.
"Working closely with Southwest Airlines, we determined what the customer wanted, and our talented designers and engineers responded to that need," said Mark Vaughan, B/E Aerospace's Vice President, Sales & Marketing. "We're proud to have partnered with Southwest since 1971 to create innovative products that customers will enjoy for years to come."
Southwest Airlines Applies To Fly Between Denver And Puerto Vallarta
Southwest Airlines also filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide daily, nonstop service between Denver International Airport (DEN) and Lic. Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, beginning in November 2015, subject to approvals from relevant governmental agencies.
"Our new daily flight from the Rockies to the Mexican Pacific coastline will give our Colorado Customers as well as connecting passengers quick access to another international destination," said Steven Swan, Southwest Airlines Director of International Planning. "We expect strong demand from both leisure and business Customers for this route to the growing region that straddles both Jalisco and Nayarit."
Southwest will initiate service to Puerto Vallarta, the carrier's fourth destination in Mexico, on June 7, 2015, with a daily flight both to and from John Wayne Airport Orange County (SNA).
Southwest Airlines began service to Denver on Jan. 3, 2006, with 13 daily nonstop departures to three destinations. Southwest now carries more local Customers than any other airline in Denver and operates 185 flights a day to 58 destinations nonstop from Denver, including international service to San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos and Cancun, Mexico. Southwest also is actively engaged in the community through sponsorships of the Downtown Denver Partnership, the Denver Nuggets, Red Rocks Amphitheater, Concerts for Kids, Volunteers of America and many more local organizations.