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Southwest Airlines' Gary Kelly Addresses the Wings Club in New York City

Employee
Employee


Southwest Airlines Chairman of the Board, President & Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly shares his thoughts on Leadership, Growth, and the Future of the Southwest Brand.

Gary Kelly addressed today a room full of aviation executives at the Wings Club in New York City and shared what the future looks holds for Southwest, as it enters its 40th year.  Among many topics, Gary announced ten more flights from the Newark Liberty International (EWR) to destinations like Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) with three daily nonstop flights, Houston Hobby (HOU) with two daily nonstop flights, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) with two daily nonstop flights, and Denver International (DEN) with three daily nonstop flights. These cities join the previously announced nonstops to Chicago Midway (MDW) and St. Louis (STL), giving Newark a total of 18 new daily nonstops and will connect Newark Liberty to our vast network.

To celebrate this new service, Southwest is offering for a limited time fares as low as $49 one way between BWI and EWR to travel during the Summer of 2011.  To see a complete list of special fares and fare rules, visit southwest.com.

Gary also announced that our fleet will be enhanced with the addition of the Boeing 737-800. Gary shared today we will substitute 20 of our future 737-700 orders for -800s, with the first delivery scheduled for March 2012. With both the Pilots’ and Flight Attendants’ Unions ratifying their contracts to add the -800 to their current collective bargaining agreements, Southwest is continuing to finalize discussions with the Boeing Company regarding substitutions of the -800s for the -700 positions and configuration and equipage options.

Gary told the Wings Club audience, “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.

 

186 Comments
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No mention of SW buying AirTran? Is that still happening?
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What is going to happen to the employees of Airtran? Mechanics?
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I have flown SW many times.... MY question is...if SW can be profitable....and great airline...why cant the others? If i was starting a business...i would look at those that was operating the same business and duplicate their business practice
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Will the Sky Interior be coming in on the -700's as well??? I'm so excited!!!!
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WOW!! 737-800 ETOPS ready is great news!
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It's such an exciting time to be an Employee of this amazing family. Thank you Southwest for all you do to ensure our continued success!
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SWA's operations are slim-lined. They only fly one aircraft type (B 737's) and have the turn around down to 20 minutes from deplaning to reboarding usually. They do not have all the overhead that the other airlines have with numerous aircraft types. They took out all the fluff that slows things down and simply offers great service and they back it up through their employee's all working towards the same goal! The other airlines can learn from it! They have created a great culture and follow it thru!
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No wonder Southwest is #2 of best places to work. We have flown Southwest for several years going from Manchester to Tampa or Orlando. We have never been disappointed with boarding,the flight and usually arrive ahead of schedule. Can't wait for the new planes to come on line.
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Your route planning is truly AWFUL.
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I noticed that your new service to EWR includes only Southwest hubs such as Chicago and Denver. Why can't service be offered out of places like DTW, where Delta is in sore need of some serious competition?
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The Airtran deal wont close for a while maybe Q1 of 2012. Great news on the 738! Open those Caribbean routes, high demand and Hawaii flights. The employees from Airtran deal are crucial in the stations not served by WN as well as the 717 crews and mx folks since that metal will be used on the low vol or "milk" runs
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Was looking to see if SWA would start flying to HNL with any of the new -800s. Noticed they are extended range planes so one might be able to read that into the announcement.
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I travel for a living throughout North America. SWA has beat all others for business travel in price, convenience, on-time service, and ease of travel. Keep up the great work. Your business model is exemplary to all of us who strive for excellence!
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The 800 ETOPS will be a great addition to the fleet. My sense is that you'll use it on long haul leisure (maybe Hawaii or the Caribbean!!) and in your slot controlled airports in the east. 20 planes will go a long way toward enhancing the economics of a long haul leisure market where making $$ has to be part of the equation. I do have one question that shouldn't involve any secrets. Can MDW handle those jets or will the runways be too short in Chicago? Clearly that would be for the flights to the east coast, not for an overseas destination.
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Good thing that the other airlines don't follow the Southwest model or none of us could cross an ocean. I assume that WN appreciates the airlines with a FULL route network that can feed them passengers.
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I am a VETERAN SWA frequent flyer and rapid rewards member in good standing. I recently purchased a flight and was encouraged by one of your representatives to use a $2.50 credit that I was actually unaware of. Okay, so I used the $2.50 credit, not knowing until today that I am unable to change my current flight because the $2.50 credit has an expiration date!!!! I need a kind courtesy offered to me. I want to change my flight without the expiration restriction or have the $2.50 expire on its own, separate and apart from the ticket purchased only 3 weeks ago.
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I fly SW at least 5 times a year from Raleigh Durham to Philly. However, would LUV to see a flight from Raleigh Durham into Newark. Has any thought been given to this addition????
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Love everything about Southwest. Recommend you to all our foreign students and hotel guests. When are you going to be flying to Maui? Have heard rumors for years.
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IS THERE ANY PLANS IN THE FUTURE TO HAVE PLANES THAT FLY TO HAWAII?
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Once you take over Airtran, will you offer a non-stop from CMH to & from RSW? and CMH to & from ATL?
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Keeping the 717's would be a huge mistake - one of the key reasons for your profitability has been operating a single aircraft type (737). By adding a 2nd type, your costs multiply and flexibility shrinks. Look at what has happened to all the airlines which strayed from the single-type model: independence air, airtran, and jet blue...
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We only fly SW! Great smooth on time flights. Never disappointed. Will the new 800 planes be flying out of Manchester, NH?
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Please SWA, anticipate travels to Hawaii! I recently toured the islands during the peak season. As I own timeshare points on three of the islands, I tried island hopping for the 1st time this past season. It was truely hard to get a reasonable flight out of the islands. A flight from Maui to Hilo, Hawaii cost me $150.00 for a 23min flight ONE WAY. I met some locals (Hawaiians) that cannot afford the cost of flights to visit distant relates from other islands. Even, children who need escorts don't fly cheap! Please SWA help our fellow islanders who would love to travel if the cost of travel wasn't so expensive! Please respond!--- Furthermore, buy out those smaller companies in interHawaii before you commit to Hawaii routes! I'm sure after a few years you will reap the rewards. And have a great customer service base! !!Only a suggestion!!! Sylvia Allen
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When are you going to fly into ABE(Allentown, Pa.) ?
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Now that Mexicana is no longer here in California, is there any hope in getting Southwest to fly into Mexican tourists towns, such as Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Acapulco, and Cabo? This would be a great welcome by many, many travelers.
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My wife and I have flown SW several times to Orlando and return to Baltimore. The flights were great and on time but can not consideration be given to flying into Sanford, FL and return ?
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I would love to see Southwest leave from Charlotte to Newark or even Charlotte to Philly. Is that planned anywhere in the future?
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I am waiting for you to start a non-stop flight from MSP to LAS. When is this going to happen? Can't wait.
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Would love to see SWA come to the Moisnee or better yet Rhinelander, Wisconsin airports. There is such a need up north here. You have to go out of Minneapolis or drive toGreen Bay or Milwaukee or Madsion, all very far esp in the winter months. You would be amazed to how many constomers you would have. Please, please please(:))
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Providence to Ft. Myers and West Palm Beach at least for NOV-MAY next year? Southern New Englanders would avoid Boston if they could for nonstop flights to these destinations.
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Will it have power for my laptop? Free Wifi? Please?
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Will SW be flying into Richmond,Va in the near future? Hopefully, the answer is YES.
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I HAVE BEEN AN ACTIVE TRAVEL AGENT FOR OVER 30 YEARS. HAVE HAD RELATIONS WITH MOST AIRLINES THOSE STILL AROUND AND THOSE NOW HISTORY. I AM PLEASED TO SAY THAT AMONG TODAY'S AIRLINES SOUTHWEST PERSONEL ARE THE MOST COURTEIOUS, HELPFULL TO THE TRAVEL AGENCY INDUSTRY . THANK YOU.
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We love SWA we fly from Islip Long Island to West Palm Beach and Las Vegas. I hope you will be able to fly the 737-800 into these airports, there is nothing like getting on a new plane with the smell of new leather it's like a new car smell. Stick with US made Boeing SWA I've owned the stock for over 20 years.
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With SW taking over air-tran, is there any consideration to taking the old air-tran route from SWF to PIE or Tpa as direct flights (non-stop). the only way to get from SWF to the west coast of florida is to take Delta or US Air with lay-overs, sometimes 2 or three stops and takes all day. Southeast flew full, allegiant flew full, air tran flew full, but they all left. Now that the NY port authority has taken over SWF is it possible to have you re-initiate non-stop to west coast of florida taking only 2 1/2 hours.
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While their policies are good, their tactics are not. When SW first started flying out of ISP on Long Island, the airport was the 78th busiest in the country. They had very low fares and 80 flights a day. The competition left, SW fares went up and the number of flights they fly has been cut in half. Now ISP is not even in the top 150 airports in the country. I rather fly out of one of the city airports then fly an airline who has been taking the people of Long Island for granted.
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Love flying with SWA. Never had any problems with any of my flights other than slight delays due to weather....that SWA has no control over.Keep up the good work SWA.
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How about taking on flights to Belize from Ft Lauderdale. I had to fly to Belize, in February, 2 years ago and would have had to pay over $1200 on American Airlines for a less then a 2 hours flight from Miami to Belize. I found a flight to Cancun Mexico then I took a bus to Belize for total cost of about $265 RT. Sure it took more then the hour and an half flight but I had the time. Continental and American have a strangle grip on flights to beautiful Belize. What a shame. One benefit to this; these flights (crumbs) to Belize help to keep them solvent. SW flights to Belize would be a great PLUS with great support from the Belize market.
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I really wish SW would fly in/out of Abilene, TX! You would make a lot of people very happy!
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I am a 25 year veteran flier and a companion pass qualified Rapid Rewards member. I am hoping that Southwest will reconsider a recently adopted rule impacting Rapid Rewards fliers. Frequently I finish my work detail early and would like to return home a day early. Recent rule changes make this impossible. Trying to get home from LAX recently, I inquired about moving the return date ahead one day and found that although there are many daily flight from LAX to SLC, SW will depart with several empty seats on a flight, and refuse access to a RR passenger. This is frustrating and there is really no good reason for it. I do understand that they are opposed to standby's hanging around the podium, however this could be accommodated by a rez agent or online, on the day of departure, without causing a problem. That said, in the opinion of this traveler, SWA offers the best flying experience possible. Overall, the agents, crew and ground support, are without peer. I am excited about the addition of the 738 and look forward to many future flights on my favorite airline!
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Are you planning to fly from Long Island, MacAuther Airport to Myrtle Beach, SC.?
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Please add service to Washington-Regan (DCA) from Buffalo (BUF) so I don't have to fly into Baltimore. Costs more for a shuttle from there into DC than the flight.
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I always look to fly Southwest first and am forced to look to others on some ocassions. Southwest, would you PLEASE consider flying into Memphis, TN so I can use your services even more? I think MANY would benefit from this stop and destination.
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We love the many advantages of flying Southwest. When will you be flying to Mexico, particularly Puerto Vallarta?
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Hats off to the SWA pilot that held the plan for the grandfather trying to get to his dying grandson this past week!!!!! Yet another reason I continue to fly only SWA!
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I love Southwest Airlines!!! They are so good to seniors,,,,,,,,just wish I didn't have to go to Baltimore to fly out.
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It's over an hour's drive to RSW or TPA. Any chance you'll be landing soon in SRQ?
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Most of my flights are between PVD and ATL. I very much prefer SWA for all my flights but of course SWA does not service ATL presently. What is the latest regarding SWA accessing ATL through the AirTran acquisition? Is it a real possibility? I really like the PVD airport and SWA at PVD. The airport and SWA is a great combination. Very convinient, no hassles at all.
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Why doesn't Southwest offer air service out of Augusta, GA or Columbia, SC? I know of many, many folks who would love to see Southwest operate out of these airports!
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Hope you will have a Daytona Beach flight some day from manchester,N.H. even if it is only two fights a day.