More Boeing 737-800s For Southwest

Southwest Airlines plans to acquire twenty 737-800 jets from Boeing.

Gary Kelly, CEO of the Dallas-based airline, confirmed the news on Wednesday, Dec. 15, telling a group of airline professionals at the Wings Club in New York City that Southwest will substitute twenty of the Boeing 737-700 aircraft it ordered for delivery in 2012 for twenty Boeing 737-800 jets.

Unions representing Southwest pilots and flight attendants recently gave Southwest the go-ahead to acquire larger-body aircraft.

Kelly said, “The 800 represents many exciting opportunities for our employees and our customers.” He adds, “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.”

Currently, Southwest has 541 Boeing 737 aircraft in its fleet. The fleet currently includes 737-300s, 737-500s, and 737-700s. The 700 model has 137 passenger seats. The 800s seat 162 to 189 people, depending on their setup.

Spirit AeroSystems Inc. is a major supplier on the 737 program. The Wichita-based company builds about 70 percent of the aircraft.

A stretched version of the 737-700, the 737-800 replaces the 737-400. It also filled the gap left by the decision to discontinue the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 andMD-90 following Boeing’s merger with McDonnell Douglas.

A Boeing 737-800 plane from Airberlin



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