Category Archives: Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines quietly takes delivery of its first Boeing 737-8 MAX 8

The new MAX 8 for Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) decided it did not want a ceremony afterall at Dallas (Love Field) for the delivery flight arrival of its first new Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 (N8710M). The airline cancelled the delivery event at its base due to the on-going flooding of former Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.

Southwest was the launch customer of the new Boeing type but delayed its delivery and was not the first airline to take delivery nor the first to put the new type into revenue service. Malindo Air (Lion Air) will hold that title.

N8710M, operating as flight SWA8701/WN8701, departed from Boeing Field at 10:58 am and arrived at DAL at 15:16 (4:16 pm) local time on August 29, 2017 according to FlightAware.

Southwest has ordered 200 copies and plans to receive a total of 14 this year.

The new type will enter revenue service on October 1, 2017. The carrier decided to delay the inaugural flight until it could retire its last Boeing 737-300 as previously reported.

The last Boeing 737-300 revenue flight is currently scheduled for September 29, 2017.

Copyright Photo: Sister Ship: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 N8706W (msn 42559) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 937642.

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Southwest adds 19 new routes and international service to San Jose, Sacramento, Columbus and New Orleans

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-76N WL N7709A (msn 32654) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936847.

Southwest Airlines has announced a substantial investment for its California travelers and communities served as it extended its bookable flight schedule through June 1, 2018. Carrying more passengers to, from, and within the great state of California1, Southwest is thanking its loyal Golden State Customers with even more flights including nearly 20 new nonstop routes and increasing frequency to 27 existing routes as well as opening new international gateways.

1Based on U.S. DOT O&D Survey from grouped by years 1998-2016

Effective March 10, 2018

New nonstop service will be offered on Saturdays between both California cities of San Jose and Sacramento and San Jose del Cabo/Cabo San Lucas, subject to requisite government approvals. Additionally, San Diego Customers will be able to enjoy nonstop service on Saturdays and Sundays to and from Puerto Vallarta, complementing daily international service between San Diego and San Jose del Cabo/Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Effective April 8, 2018

Among the new routes, travelers can enjoy daily nonstop service between:

Fort Lauderdale 

and

Jacksonville (Three daily flights)

Sacramento

and

Austin

Sacramento

and

St. Louis

San Francisco

and

Austin

San Jose, CA

and

Boise

San Jose, CA 

and

Houston (Hobby)

San Jose, CA 

and

St. Louis

San Jose, CA 

and

Spokane 

Effective May 6, 2018

San Jose, CA 

and

Orlando

Sacramento 

and

Orlando

New Service to Cancun

The carrier also announced today that, beginning April 14, 2018, nonstop service on a seasonal basis is intended to operate on Saturdays between Cancun and both Columbus, Ohio, and New Orleans, both routes subject to requisite government approvals.

Seasonal Returning Routes

The airline also published returning seasonal nonstop routes throughout the country. Effective Sunday, April 8, 2018, Southwest will operate daily service between Houston and Portland, Ore., and weekend service between Denverand Charleston, S.C. Weekly service on Saturdays between Albuquerque and Orlando, and between Kansas Cityand Pensacola, Fla., will operate beginning April 14, 2018.

Southwest continues to estimate its year-over-year available seat mile (ASM) growth to be less than four percent in the first half of 2018 and its full year 2018 ASM growth to be less than its 2016 year-over-year ASM growth of 5.7 percent.

Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-76N WL N7709A (msn 32654) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936847.

Southwest announces new international routes, defers its four remaining Boeing 737-800 options in 2018 and converts them to four Boeing 737 MAX 8 options

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-3H4 HL N654SW (msn 28399) SFO (Mark Durbin). Image: 925717.

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has announced it will begin international service for Indianapolis travelers with new weekly service to Cancun, Mexico as the carrier extends its schedule through April 6, 2018. The new flights between Cancun and Indianapolis will operate seasonally on Saturdays beginning March 10, 2018.

As part of today’s flight schedule extension, the carrier is also offering new international service beginning March 8, 2018 between Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and Aruba. Additionally, new nonstop service offered daily between Milwaukee and Houston (Hobby) will allow connections to destinations such as Belize, Cancun and Mexico City.

Beginning March 8, 2018, fly nonstop daily between:

Fort Lauderdale and Aruba

for as low as $69 one-way*

Milwaukee and Houston (Hobby)

for as low as $69 one-way*

*Purchase from July 27 through August 3, 2017, 11:59 p.m. in the respective time zone of the originating city. Domestic and International travel is valid March 8 through April 6, 2018. Service begins March 8, 2018. Domestic travel is not valid on Fridays and Sundays. International travel is valid Monday through Thursday. 

Southwest begins seasonal weekly service on Saturdays between Detroit and Tampa as well as Omaha and Tampa.

On the financial side, Southwest reported its second quarter 2017 results:

  • Net income of $746 million, diluted earnings per share of $1.23, operating income of $1.25 billion, and operating margin1 of 21.8 percent
  • Excluding special items2, net income of $748 million, diluted earnings per share of $1.24, operating income of $1.21 billion, and operating margin3 of 21.1 percent
  • Second quarter operating cash flow of $746 million and second quarter free cash flow2 of $195 million
  • Returned $476 million to Shareholders through a combination of dividends and share repurchases
  • Return on invested capital (ROIC)2 for 12 months ended June 30, 2017, of 27.5 percent

Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are very pleased to report another terrific quarter. As expected, we produced positive unit revenues compared with the strong year-ago performance. We had several notable achievements during second quarter, but the headline was the deployment of our new reservation system on May 9th. It was an historic milestone, the largest technology project in our history, and perhaps, one of the largest ever in the airline industry. The implementation was virtually flawless, although a new system is always challenging for the users. I want to thank all of our People who were involved in the development and deployment. It was superb. And, I want to thank all of our Frontline Employees for their hard work in learning and using their new system. The operations since May 9th have been superb, also. Once again, our Employees showcased their unmatched Hospitality and delivered a reliable product—a truly impressive achievement considering the record number of flights, Customers, and bags. Congratulations to our People and our Shareholders on a strong financial performance, which generated $202 million in profitsharing and $476 million in Shareholder returns.”

Fleet and Capacity

The Company ended second quarter 2017 with 735 aircraft in its fleet. This reflects the second quarter 2017 delivery of 13 new Boeing 737-800s and 5 pre-owned Boeing 737-700s, as well as the retirement of 10 Classic aircraft. During the second quarter, the Company also added three pre-owned 737-700 aircraft to its fleet order book to be delivered this year for 2018 service. Subsequent to June 30, 2017, the Company added one additional pre-owned 737-700 aircraft to its fleet order book to be delivered this year for 2018 service. With the addition of these four pre-owned 737-700 aircraft to its order book, the Company deferred its four remaining 737-800 options in 2018 and converted them to four Boeing 737 MAX 8 options, two in 2021 and two in 2022.

As of July 25, 2017, there were 67 Classic aircraft remaining in the Company’s fleet that it intends to retire by the end of third quarter 2017. Total aircraft, net of all Classic retirements, is expected to decline to 707 by year-end 2017 and grow to 750 aircraft by year-end 2018, as previously announced.

The Company currently expects its third quarter 2017 available seat miles (ASMs) to increase in the four to five percent range and its fourth quarter 2017 ASMs to increase in the one to two percent range, compared with the same year-ago periods. While the Company has not finalized its 2018 capacity plans, it currently estimates year-over-year ASM growth to be less than four percent in the first half of 2018, and its full year 2018 ASM growth to be less than its 2016 year-over-year ASM growth of 5.7 percent. Additional information regarding the Company’s aircraft delivery schedule is included in the accompanying tables.

The Company continues to fine tune its network and introduce new markets that not only strengthen its Customer brand appeal, but also support its revenue and profitability targets. In late April, the Company began international service daily between San Diego and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, Mexico. In June, the Company consolidated its Ohio operations and launched service to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The same day, the Company also launched service to Grand Cayman from Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Additionally, the Company has announced plans to concentrate its service to Cuba in Havana and will cease operations at Varadero and Santa Clara in September. In November, the Company expects to begin international nonstop service weekly from both Nashville and St. Louis to Cancun (CUN), as well as daily service between Providenciales, Turks & Caicos and FLL beginning in the same month, all subject to requisite governmental approvals. And just this morning, the Company published a flight schedule extension through April 6, 2018, which includes new international service weekly between Indianapolis and CUN that is expected to begin in March 2018 and is also subject to governmental approvals.

Top Copyright Photo: Southwest intends to retire its last Boeing 737-300 by the end of the third quarter. By agreement, the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 will be introduced when the last 737-300 is retired.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-3H4 HL N654SW (msn 28399) SFO (Mark Durbin). Image: 925717.

 

Southwest Airlines and Discovery Channel team up for “Shark Week”

Southwest Airlines and the Discovery Channel are teaming up once again to bring television’s most anticipated summer event, Shark Week, to new heights. Southwest revealed a Shark Week- themed 737-700 aircraft, the pictured 737-7H4 N944WN (msn 36659), with an all new, larger-than-life underwater scene depicting five shark species along the fuselage. The plane will fly the skies as part of the Southwest fleet through August 31, 2017, as millions tune in to Discovery’s Shark Week airing July 23 through July 30, 2017.

Customers and Shark Week fans who spot the Shark Week plane throughout the summer are encouraged to take a photo and share it with @SouthwestAir and @SharkWeek, using the hashtag #SharksTakeFlight.

While Shark Week fans anxiously await the July 23 premiere of Shark Week, Southwest Customers are getting in on the jawsome action early. Continuing throughout the summer, Customers onboard WiFi-equipped aircraft can enjoy a pre-premiere episode of African Shark Safari through Southwest’s onboard entertainment portal via the Shark Week ondemand Channel. Customers flying during Shark Week can tune-in live via the entertainment portal live TV on Discovery Channel July 23 through July 30. Southwest and Discovery will also host a surprise takeover on a special flight to kick off Shark Week!

This exciting partnership with Discovery’s Shark Week is an opportunity to celebrate the carrier’s newest international destination, Grand Cayman, which Southwest serves with nonstop flights from Ft. Lauderdale. Want a bite of the nonstop action? Southwest and Discovery will send a winner and three guests on an adventure of a lifetime through the Dare to Dive Sweepstakes.  Customers and Shark Week fans can enter for a chance to win the Dare to Dive sweepstakes which includes roundtrip Southwest air travel for four (Government-imposed per passenger travel taxes of up to $150 per person are not included and are payable by each of winner and guest prior to travel), a $2,000 Ritz Carlton gift card, and a $1,000 Visa gift card for an aquatic adventure of the winner’s choosing.

Top Photos: Southwest Airlines/Stephen M. Keller.

Copyright Photo Below: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4 WL N944WN (msn 36659) (Shark Week) MCO (Westley Bencon). Image: 938747.

Southwest's 2017 "Shark Week" promotional livery

Southwest to put the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 into revenue service on October 1, 2017

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) is planning to introduce the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 into revenue service on October 1, 2017. According to Airline Route, the carrier will use nine aircraft to inaugurate service on October 1, 2017.

The actual inaugural flight will be flight WN1 from Dallas (Love Field) to Houston (Hobby), the original WN route.

Image: Southwest Airlines.

Southwest to fly from Oakland to Cabo and Puerto Vallarta starting on February 12, 2017, extends schedule through late April with new routes

Southwest to fly from Oakland to Cabo and Puerto Vallarta starting on February 12, 2017, extends schedule through late April with new routes

Beginning on February 12, 2017, Southwest Airlines will fly nonstop daily between Oakland and both San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, Mexico and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

In addition, beginning on March 9, 2017, Southwest will add daily service between Houston (Hobby) and Omaha and between New York/Newark and Ft. Lauderdale./Hollywood.

Also starting on March 11, 2017 and furthering its network development of the carrier’s near-international service, Southwest has published new nonstop service to operate seasonally on Saturdays between Denver and Belize City, Belize.

Also on March 11, 2017, Southwest launches nonstop service to operate seasonally on Saturdays and Sundays between Dallas Love Field and Jacksonville.

This coming weekend, on Sunday, August 7, 2016, Southwest will inaugurate international service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Nassau, The Bahamas.

Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-8H4 SSWL N8658A (msn 36899) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 931547.

AG Aircraft Color Prints 6.4.11

 

Southwest Airlines to operate two new seasonal flights

Southwest Airlines to operate two new seasonal flights

Southwest Airlines has extended its schedule through March 8, 2017 and also announced two new, weekly nonstop offerings to operate during the winter season, Southwest will operate on Saturdays beginning January 7 through March 4, 2017, between Dallas (Love) and Reno; and for travel on Saturdays beginning December 17, 2016, through March 4, 2017, between Newark and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Other markets in the schedule extension include weekend service between Ft. Myers and Buffalo, Flint, Providence, and Washington (Reagan National), and Kansas City, daily.

Other weekend service links Orlando and Detroit, Flint, Richmond and Omaha. The carrier also intends to fly nonstop on Saturdays between Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

In addition, Southwest has optimized its flight schedules to bring additional flights for football fans traveling with their favorite team in mid-September by adding special nonstop service out for sale today between Oakland and New Orleans (weekend of September 9-12, 2016) as well as Columbus and Oklahoma City (weekend of September 16-18, 2016).

Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-76V WL N559WN (msn 30249) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 933692.

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