Southwest Pilots Tentatively Agree to Fly the Boeing 737-800

By | December 1, 2010
Headquarters building of Southwest Airlines, l...
Image via Wikipedia

Southwest Airlines announced a tentative agreement by its pilots to add the Boeing 737-800 to its contract. Southwest currently expects to take delivery of its first 737-800 in the first quarter of 2012. The Southwest Flight Attendants have already had a tentative agreement of their own.

The Southwest 737-700 seats 137. Southwest also flies the 737-300 with the same configuration and the 500 with a 122 seat configuration. A 737-800 is a stretched version, which seats up to 189 in an all economy configuration.

By offering a larger aircraft, there is talk Southwest could deploy it to the slot regulated markets, such as New York’s LaGuardia Airport to increase capacity without adding flights. Southwest’s planning and expansion has always been quite deliberate, and with the upcoming acquisition of AirTran and the move into Atlanta, there is lots of potential.

On the other hand, it was said by many that acquiring the Boeing 717 fleet as part of the AirTran acquisition would allow them access to smaller markets where larger aircraft are not financially viable. So, in the future, Southwest will have smaller and larger planes keyed for different markets…just like everyone else.