Southwest Airlines moves one step closer to adding the Boeing 737-800

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) is carefully consulting with its union of whether to add the larger Boeing 737-800 to its fleet. The decision to bring the Boeing 737-800 into the fleet moved one step closer today as the Executive Board of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556, representing more than 9,700 Southwest Flight Attendants unanimously approved a tentative agreement reached with the Company. The tentative agreement will now be presented to members of TWU Local 556 for a ratification vote.

If Southwest pursues the -800, a joint committee would meet to work on the logistical details related to scheduling and bidding procedures that adding a fourth Flight Attendant will require. If approved by a majority vote of the Flight Attendants, their current contract also will be extended by one year, becoming amendable on May 31, 2013, and also include the potential for wage rate increases based on the Company’s financial performance.

The decision to add the -800 still isn’t final; Southwest is still in discussion with our Pilots Union, SWAPA, and are continuing to evaluate network and configuration options. As such, any details regarding firm orders with Boeing, timing, and quantity of deliveries are still to be determined.