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.