Tag Archives: 36985

Southwest Airlines to add Split Scimitar Winglets to its 85 Boeing 737-800s

Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) today announced that Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has ordered Split Scimitar Winglets for its Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft.  APB’s newest program is the culmination of a five-year design effort using the latest computational fluid dynamic technology to redefine the aerodynamics of the Blended Winglet into an all-new Split Scimitar Winglet. The unique feature of the Split Scimitar Winglet is that it uses the existing Blended Winglet structure, but adds new strengthened spars, aerodynamic scimitar tips, and a large ventral strake.  APB looks forward to receiving FAA certification for Split Scimitar Winglets later this month.

By upgrading its Boeing Next-Generation 737-800s with Split Scimitar Winglets, APB estimates that Southwest will increase its annual fuel savings of approximately three percent per aircraft from Blended Winglets to approximately five percent per aircraft annually with the Split Scimitar Winglet upgrade. In addition to lowering Southwest’s fuel costs, the Split Scimitar Winglet will reduce emissions, supporting Southwest’s commitment to efficiency and to the Planet.

Southwest’s order of 85 Split Scimitar Winglets allows the airline to retrofit the 52 Boeing 737-800s currently in its fleet, in addition to the 33 Boeing 737-800s the airline expects to be delivered in 2014. Pending FAA certification, Southwest Airlines plans to begin Split Scimitar Winglet retrofits at Aviation Technical Services, based in Everett, Washington, in the first half of 2014, with an expected completion of all retrofits by early 2015.

APB’s Split Scimitar Winglet program is the most successful product launch in its history.  Since launching the program early last year, APB has now taken orders and options for 1,451 Split Scimitar Winglet systems. Over the last 10 years, APB has sold more than 7,000 Blended Winglet Systems.  Over 5,100 Blended Winglet Systems are now in service with over 200 airlines in more than 100 countries. APB estimates that Blended Winglets have saved airlines worldwide over 4 billion gallons of jet fuel to-date. 

Aviation Partners Boeing is a Seattle based joint venture of Aviation Partners, Inc. and The Boeing Company.

737-800 Split Scimitar Winglets (APB)(LR)

Southwest in its advertisements is helping the public correlate the wing “doohickeys” with reduced costs which lead to lower fares. Now they will have “super doohickeys”:

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. The current Boeing 737-800 fleet has the Aviation Partners Boeing Blended Winglets. They will be replaced with the new model. Boeing 737-8H4 N8309C (msn 36985) taxies to the gate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

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Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways connect their networks

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) announced today that it has successfully completed the connection between the Southwest and AirTran Airways networks. Customers are now able to purchase itineraries to the airlines’ combined 97 destinations, including international, in one transaction. The newly connected itineraries are on sale now via all Southwest and AirTran sales channels for service starting on April 14.

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways took the first step in connecting their networks on January 26, 2013, by offering a small number of connected itineraries in five markets. On February 25, 2013, the airline launched connected itineraries in 39 cities.

By connecting the Southwest and AirTran networks, Customers may:

  • Add one or more AirTran domestic flight segments to a Southwest itinerary, using Southwest booking channels
  • Book one or more Southwest flight segments connecting to an AirTran itinerary, using AirTran channels
  • Use all Southwest channels to book an AirTran-only domestic itinerary.
  • Add an international AirTran segment to a Southwest itinerary within a single reservation, through a Customer-friendly transfer of the transaction to AirTran channels for booking, purchase, and ticketing by AirTran.
  • Earn currency in either loyalty program no matter which carrier they fly. (The currency a Customer earns is determined by the carrier from which they buy their ticket, even if flying on a shared itinerary.)

As is standard with industry “code share” arrangements, the Marketing Carrier’s (where you buy your ticket) rules and policies apply to reservations and ticketing.  The Operating Carrier’s (which airline operates the flight) procedures apply to boarding, seating, and the onboard experience. Southwest is making one exception: any itinerary with a Southwest segment or that is purchased through a Southwest point-of-sale channel will not have bag fees for the first or second checked bag (weight and size restrictions apply.)

Southwest Airlines announced plans to acquire AirTran Airways on September 27, 2010, an acquisition that significantly expanded Southwest Airlines’ low-fare service to more Customers in more domestic markets, creating hundreds of additional low-fare itineraries for the traveling public.  Since Southwest Airlines closed the deal to purchase AirTran Airways on May 2, 2011, Southwest and AirTran Employees have worked hard to facilitate a thoughtful and smooth integration process while providing the same high level of Customer Service that Customers have come to expect. To date, Southwest Airlines has welcomed 30 percent of AirTran Employees to the Southwest Family, has converted 11 AirTran Airways 737-700 aircraft to the Southwest paint scheme and interior configuration, and has transitioned five AirTran Airways-served cities into Southwest Airlines operations.

The process of a full integration of the AirTran Airways 737 fleet into the Southwest Airlines fleet (i.e. paint scheme and interior configuration) and transition to a single ticketing system is a large and complex process that is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.  Southwest Airlines realized $142 million of net, annualized, pre-tax synergies during 2012, and expects to achieve $400 million in 2013 (excluding acquisition and integration expenses).

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737-8H4 WL N8309C (msn 36985) completes its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport.

AirTran Airways: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

Southwest Airlines acquires four Reagan National slots from Spirit Airlines

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has acquired four landing and takeoff slots at Washington (Reagan National) from Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood). The Department of Transportation (DOT) approve the acquisition on July 2. Southwest intends to launch nonstop St. Louis-Washington (Reagan National) flights on September 6.

Meanwhile Spirit will move its two daily roundtrips from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood to Reagan National to nearby Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) on September 5.

Top Copyright Photo: Eddie Maloney. Brand new Boeing 737-8H4 N8309C (msn 36985) was delivered on May 18, 2012.

Southwest: 

Spirit: 

Bottom Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Airbus A320-232 N603NK makes its final approach into Washington (Reagan National).