Tag Archives: Southwest Airlines

Southwest to add Chicago Midway – Los Cabos service

Ex B-5074, delivered on December 6, 2017

Southwest Airlines will add nonstop Chicago (Midway) – San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, Mexico twice-weekly flights on November 4, 2018 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-79P SSWL N7861J (msn 33008) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 941457.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show:

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Southwest expands on the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood – Havana route

Ex LV-CSI, delivered on November 16, 2016

Southwest Airlines will add a third daily flight on the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood – Havana route on August 7, 2018 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7Q8 WL N7853B (msn 30707) FLL (Andy Cripps). Image: 941461.

Southwest aircraft slide show:

Southwest offers a fare sale on select routes

Southwest's updated 2018 "Arizona One"

Southwest Airlines has made this announcement to stimulate sluggish traffic:

Southwest Airlines has launched a three-day sale offering low fares for fall travel, so book your next trip now! Customers may take advantage of available low domestic fares starting at $49, $79, $99, and $129 one-way to select destinations today through June 7, 2018, 11:59 p.m. in the respective time zone of the originating city. Seats and days are limited. Blackout dates apply. See full fare rules and terms and conditions below. Domestic travel is not valid on Fridays and Sundays. Travel to Florida and Nevada and from Florida to Nevada is valid only on Sundays through Wednesdays. Travel from Florida and Nevada and from Nevada to Florida is valid only on Tuesdays through Fridays.

Customers may also book flights to international destinations with some of Southwest’s low international fares starting at $99 one-way to select destinations today through June 7, 2018, 11:59 p.m.in the respective time zone of the originating city. Seats and days are limited. See full fare rules and full terms and conditions below. International travel is valid only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

See below for examples of these great low fares and for restrictions and exclusions.

Examples of Southwest Airlines’ domestic low fares include (see fare rules below):

  • As low as $49 one-way nonstop between Phoenix and San Diego and one-way nonstop between Nashville and Kansas City
  • As low as $79 one-way nonstop between Atlanta and Houston Hobby Airport and one-way nonstop between Washington DC (Reagan National) and Orlando
  • As low as $99 one-way nonstop between Dallas (Love Field) and Portland, Ore. and one-way nonstop between St. Louis and Tampa
  • As low as $129 one-way nonstop between Denver and Raleigh-Durham and one-way nonstop between Austin and San Jose, Calif.

Examples of Southwest Airlines’ international low fares include (see fare rules below):

  • As low as $99 one-way nonstop from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood to San Jose, Costa Rica and one-way nonstop from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos

Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4 WL N955WN (msn 36671) (Arizona One) SNA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941786.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery):

Southwest Airlines demonstrates dedication to corporate citizenship through 2017 One Report

Southwest Airlines announced today the release of the 2017 Southwest Airlines One Report. This comprehensive report uses an integrated approach to detail Southwest’s financial performance, citizenship efforts, and key milestones that occurred in 2017.

“The One Report is our opportunity to celebrate Southwest’s dedication to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet,” said Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. “Southwest takes great pride in how we care for our Employees, Customers, Shareholders, and Communities. The One Report helps us bring to life our Purpose of connecting People to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel, and we are excited to share it.”

Highlights from the 2017 Southwest Airlines One Report include:

Performance:

  • Ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)1
  • Celebrated 45 consecutive years of profitability
  • Returned approximately $1.9 billion to Shareholders through share repurchases and dividends

People:

  • Gave more than $37 million total corporate monetary, in-kind, and ticket donations
  • Served more than 130 million Customers, an all-time annual record
  • Employees earned $543 million in profitsharing for 2017

Planet:

  • Refurbished and resold more than 200,000 pounds of electronic equipment
  • Diverted 3,737 tons of waste from landfills through recycling and energy recovery efforts
  • Saved 8.5 million gallons of fuel in 2017 by refining our fuel planning calculations and flight planning procedures

To view the full 2017 Southwest Airlines One Report, including a video message from Gary Kelly, please visit Southwestonereport.com.

Southwest’s dedication to corporate social responsibility and global citizenship was further demonstrated when Southwest was named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine for 2018. This list is derived from publicly available data from the Russell 1000 companies and further celebrates Southwest’s dedication to citizenship efforts throughout 2017.

1Source: Air Travel Consumer Reports. Rankings are based on complaints filed with the DOT per 100,000 passengers enplaned.
2A revenue ton mile is one ton of revenue traffic (passenger and cargo) transported one mile.

Southwest Airlines extends flight schedule through early 2019

Southwest's updated 2018 "Arizona One"

Southwest Airlines has extended its bookable flight schedule through January 6, 2019. The new schedule brings several new nonstop options between cities that have not previously been offered on Southwest Airlines. Today’s extension includes the airline’s holiday schedule, allowing Customers to get an early start on holiday travel planning.

Going Big in the Big Apple

Beginning November 4, 2018, Southwest will add new nonstop service between:

New York (LaGuardia) and New Orleans

New York (LaGuardia) and West Palm Beach, Florida.*

New York (LaGuardia) and Orlando*

*Service is offered on Saturdays beginning November 10, 2018

Also on November 4, 2018, Southwest will add one additional weekday nonstop flight between:

New York (LaGuardia) and Dallas (An increase to five weekday nonstop flights)

New York (LaGuardia) and Denver (An increase to three weekday nonstop flights)

New York (LaGuardia) and Kansas City, Mo. (An increase to two weekday nonstop flights)

By the end of November 2018, Southwest will offer up to 35 flights a day from LaGuardia.

More Southwest Heart in the Nation’s Capital

Southwest grows its service in the Nation’s Capital with new nonstop service. Beginning Nov. 4, 2018, the carrier will link Washington, D.C. (Reagan National) and Oklahoma City with daily nonstop service. On the same day, the carrier is also adding one additional flight on the following routes:

Between Washington, D.C. (Reagan National) and Nashville (An increase to four weekday roundtrip flights)

Between Washington, D.C. (Reagan National) and Dallas (An increase to five weekday roundtrip flights)

California Service Options Expand

Even More for San Jose

Southwest continues expanding in northern California with more flights to and from San Jose, Calif. By the end of November 2018, the carrier will offer up to 99 departures a day to 24 destinations. Starting November 4, 2018, Southwest will add new nonstop service Sundays through Fridays between San Jose, Calif. and Tucson, Ariz.  Additionally, the carrier will now offer eight weekday roundtrips between San Jose, Calif. and Portland, Ore., an increase of two flights each weekday, and 12 nonstop flights weekdays between San Jose, Calif. and Orange County/Santa Ana, also an increase of two flights each weekday.

Burbank Grows

The carrier is adding more options for travelers to reach key Southern California cities on Nov. 4, 2018, including new and returning nonstop flights between:

Burbank and Houston (Hobby) (Flights operate Sunday through Friday)

Burbank and Chicago (Midway) (Flights operate Sunday through Friday)**

**The carrier previously offered this route in 2005.

More Flights from Long Beach

Responding to demands for more service from Long Beach, the carrier is adding more flights.

Between September 5 and October 31, 2018, Southwest will operate two additional nonstop flights on weekdays between Long Beach and Sacramento. The carrier will now offer four weekday roundtrips between the two cities. Additionally, the carrier will add three weekday flights between Long Beach and Las Vegas. This service complements its existing weekend service between both cities.

More Service to More Places

Beginning November 4, the carrier will add daily nonstop service between Denver and Lubbock and service Sunday through Friday between Denver and El Paso, an increase from its Sunday only service that begins on October 7, 2018. Also starting on Sunday, November 4, the airline will add weekly service on Sundays between both Houston (Hobby) and Philadelphia and Sacramento.

International Service
Cuba Service Expands
Effective August 7, 2018, Southwest will expand its service between the United States and Cuba with a third daily nonstop flight between Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and Havana.

More Passport Stamp Opportunities from Chicago
Effective Sun., November 4, 2018, Southwest will begin international service on weekends between Chicago(Midway) and Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, subject to government approvals. The new route will complement existing international service between Chicago (Midway) and Cancun, Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Daily Service Resumes
The carrier will resume seasonal daily international service on Nov. 4, 2018 between:

Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and Belize
Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and Grand Cayman
Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and Turks and Caicos
Denver and Puerto Vallarta
Houston (Hobby) and Liberia, Costa Rica
St. Louis and Cancun

Copyright Photo: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4 WL N955WN (msn 36671) (Arizona One) SNA (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941786.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show:

Southwest unveils newest onboard product: iHeartRadio

Southwest Airlines announced today a new collaboration with iHeartRadio to bring iHeartMedia’s free all-in-one digital music and live streaming radio service to Customers as the exclusive music offering within the onboard entertainment portal on Southwest flights.

Through the onboard entertainment portal integration with iHeartRadio, Customers can enjoy all their favorite musical genres including alternative rock, country, hip hop, R&B, Top 40 hit music, and more. From these genres, passengers can choose their favorite live radio station or pick from hundreds of artists to launch their very own custom artist radio station featuring music from that artist and those similar. In addition, iHeartRadio will also bring Customers expertly-curated station themes perfect for inflight listening like Pass the Time and Kids Zone.

Customers can access iHeartRadio free of charge through the onboard entertainment portal on their personal devices to begin their listening experience. Once activated, the music will continue play as long as the entertainment portal is open in a tab, allowing Customers to browse the rest of the portal, check the flight tracker or utilize the web if they have purchased WiFi access.

Customers who already have the iHeartRadio app installed on their devices will be able to play their personalized music and favorite podcasts directly from the app while onboard Southwest flights. Those passengers who already subscribe to iHeartRadio’s All Access on demand subscription service will also have access to their entire music library and saved playlists as well as enjoy millions of songs and albums instantly.

The free service is available on the more than 690 WiFi-equipped aircraft serviced by Global Eagle.

Due to licensing restrictions, iHeartRadio may not be available onboard WiFi-enabled international flights. The iHeart Radio product is available only on WiFi-enabled aircraft.

NTSB issues its investigative update on Southwest flight 1380 engine failure

The National Transportation Safety Board issued an investigative update Thursday, May 3, for its ongoing investigation of the fatal, April 17, engine failure on Southwest Airlines flight 1380.

The Boeing 737, powered by CFM International engines, experienced a failure of the left CFM-56-B engine after departing New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The engine experienced a failure of a fan blade, which resulted in the loss of the engine inlet and cowling. Fragments from the cowling and engine inlet struck the fuselage, causing a rapid depressurization. The crew conducted an emergency descent and diverted to Philadelphia International Airport. There were 144 passengers and five crewmembers onboard. One passenger suffered fatal injuries and eight passengers suffered minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged.

According to the investigative update, the aircraft’s maintenance records indicate, the fan blades were last overhauled 10,712 engine cycles before the accident. At the time of the last blade overhaul (November 2012), blades were fluorescent penetrant and visually inspected.

The investigative update includes a summary of the interviews conducted by the NTSB with the captain and co-captain, the three flight attendants, and a SWA employee in the cabin.

The cockpit voice recorder group has completed a draft transcript of the incident. The CVR transcript will be released when the public docket is opened.

The information in the update is preliminary and subject to change as the NTSB’s investigation progresses. Analysis of the accident facts, along with conclusions and a determination of probable cause, will come at a later date when the final report on the investigation is completed. As such, no conclusions about how the incident happened should be drawn from the information contained within the preliminary report.

The incident marks the first fatality involving a U.S. registered commercial passenger air carrier since the 2009 Colgan Air flight 3407 crash near Buffalo, New York.

The Full Report:

On April 17, 2018, at 1103 eastern daylight time, Southwest Airlines flight 1380, a Boeing 737-700, N772SW, experienced a failure of the left CFM International CFM-56-7B engine and loss of engine inlet and cowling during climb about flight level 320. Fragments from the engine inlet and cowling struck the wing and fuselage, resulting in a rapid depressurization after the loss of one passenger window. The flight crew conducted an emergency descent and diverted into Philadelphia Internati​onal Airport (KPHL), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Of the 144 passengers and five crewmembers onboard, one passenger received fatal injuries and eight passengers received minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The regularly scheduled domestic passenger flight was operating under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 from LaGuardia Airport (KLGA), Queens, New York, to Dallas Love Field (KDAL), Dallas, Texas.

The NTSB launched a go-team consisting of an investigator-in-charge from the major investigations division and specialists in powerplants, structures, survival factors and operations. Specialists in meteorology, maintenance records, air traffic control, flight recorders, and materials supported the investigation from other locations. Chairman Robert Sumwalt accompanied the team.

Parties to the investigation include the Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Airlines, GE Aviation, Boeing, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, Transport Workers Union Local 556, and UTC Aerospace Systems.

Initial examination of the airplane revealed that the majority of the inlet cowl was missing, including the entire outer barrel, the aft bulkhead, and the inner barrel forward of the containment ring. The inlet cowl containment ring was intact but exhibited numerous impact witness marks. Examination of the fan case revealed no through-hole fragment exit penetrations; however, it did exhibit a breach hole that corresponded to one of the fan blade impact marks and fan case tearing.(See figure 1.)

Damage to cowl - inboardFigure 1. Damage to cowl – inboard

 

The No.13 fan blade had separated at the root; the dovetail remained installed in the fan disk. Examination of the No. 13 fan blade dovetail exhibited features consistent with metal fatigue initiating at the convex side near the leading edge. Two pieces of fan blade No. 13 were recovered within the engine between the fan blades and the outlet guide vanes. One piece was part of the blade airfoil root that mated with the dovetail that remained in the fan disk; it was about 12 inches spanwise and full width and weighed about 6.825 pounds. The other piece, identified as another part of the airfoil, measured about 2 inches spanwise, appeared to be full width, was twisted, and weighed about 0.650 pound. All the remaining fan blades exhibited a combination of trailing edge airfoil hard body impact damage, trailing edge tears, and missing material. Some also exhibited airfoil leading edge tip curl or distortion. After the general in-situ engine inspection was completed, the remaining fan blades were removed from the fan disk and an ultrasonic inspection was performed consistent with CFM International Service Bulletin 72-1033. No cracks were identified on the remaining blades.

The No. 13 fan blade was examined further at the NTSB Materials Laboratory; Figure 2 shows a portion of the blade in detail. Fatigue fracture features emanated from multiple origins at the convex side and were centered about 0.568 inch aft of the leading edge face of the dovetail and were located 0.610 inch outboard of the root end face. The origin area was located outboard of the dovetail contact face coating, and the visual condition of the coating appeared uniform with no evidence of spalls or disbonding. The fatigue region extended up to 0.483 inch deep through the thickness of the dovetail and was 2.232 inches long at the convex surface. Six crack arrest lines (not including the fatigue boundary) were observed within the fatigue region. The fracture surface was further examined using a scanning electron microscope, and striations consistent with low-cycle fatigue crack growth were observed.

Fracture surface with fatigue indicationsFigure 2. Fracture surface with fatigue indications

 

The accident engine fan blades had accumulated more than 32,000 engine cycles since new. Maintenance records indicated the accident engine fan blades had been periodically lubricated as required per the Boeing 737-600/700/800/900 Aircraft Maintenance Manual.

According to maintenance records, the fan blades from the accident engine were last overhauled 10,712 engine cycles before the accident. At the time of the last blade overhaul (November 2012), blades were inspected using visual and fluorescent penetrant inspections. After an August 27, 2016, accident in Pensacola, Florida, in which a fan blade fractured, eddy current inspections were incorporated into the overhaul process requirements.

In the time since the fan blade overhaul, the accident engine fan blade dovetails had been lubricated 6 times. At the time each of these fan blade lubrications occurred, the the fan blade dovetail was visually inspected as required for the fan blades installed in the accident engine.

The NTSB materials group is working to estimate the number of cycles associated with fatigue crack initiation and propagation in the No. 13 fan blade and to evaluate the effectiveness of inspection methods used to detect these cracks.

On April 20, 2018, CFM International issued Service Bulletin 72-1033 applicable to CFM International CFM 56-7B-series engines recommending ultrasonic inspections of all fan blades on engines that have accumulated 20,000 engine cycles and subsequently at intervals not to exceed 3,000 engine cycles.

On April 20, 2018, the FAA issued emergency AD (EAD) 2018-09-15 based on the CFM International service bulletin. The EAD required CFM56-7B engine fleet fan blade inspections for engines with 30,000 or greater cycles. The EAD required that within 20 days of issuance that all CFM56-7B engine fan blade configurations to be ultrasonically inspected for cracks per the instructions provided in CFM International SB 72-1033, and, if any crack indications were found, the affected fan blade must be removed from service before further flight. On the same day, EASA also issued EAD 2018-0093E (superseding EASA AD 2018-0071) that required the same ultrasonic fan blade inspections to be performed.

The remainder of the accident airplane’s airframe exhibited significant impact damage to the leading edge of the left wing, left side of the fuselage, and left horizontal stabilizer. (See figure 3.) A large gouge impact mark, consistent in shape to a recovered portion of fan cowl and latching mechanism, was adjacent to the row 14 window (see figure 4; the window was entirely missing. No window, airplane structure, or engine material was found inside the cabin.

Damage to leading edge of left wing
Figure 3. Damage to leading edge of left wing

 

Three flight attendants were assigned to the flight, and an additional SWA employee was in a jumpseat in the cabin. During interviews, the flight attendants and the employee reported that they heard a loud sound and experienced vibration. The oxygen masks automatically deployed in the cabin. The flight attendants retrieved portable oxygen bottles and began moving through the cabin to calm passengers and assist them with their masks. As they moved toward the mid-cabin, they found the passenger in row 14 partially out of the window and attempted to pull her into the cabin. Two male passengers helped and were able to bring the passenger in.

Picture of window 14 with portion of engine inboard fan cowl
Figure 4. Picture of window 14 with portion of engine inboard fan cowl.

 

During interviews, the flight crew stated the climbout from LaGuardia was normal with no indications of any problems; the first officer was the pilot flying and the captain was the pilot monitoring. They reported experiencing a sudden change in cabin pressure, aircraft yaw, cockpit alarms, and a “gray puff of smoke.” They donned their oxygen masks, and the first officer began a descent. Flight data recorder data showed that the left engine parameters all dropped simultaneously, vibration increased, and, within 5 seconds, the cabin altitude alert activated. The FDR also indicated that the airplane rolled left to about 40 degrees before the flight crew was able counter the roll with control inputs. The flight crew reported that the airplane exhibited handling difficulties throughout the remainder of the flight. The captain took over flying duties and the first officer began running emergency checklists. The captain requested a diversion from the air traffic controller; she first requested the nearest airport but quickly decided on Philadelphia. The controller provided vectors to the airport with no delay. The flight crew reported initial communications difficulties because of the loud sounds, distraction, and wearing masks, but, as the airplane descended, the communications improved. The captain initially was planning on a long final approach to make sure they completed all the checklists, but when they learned of the passenger injuries, she decided to shorten the approach and expedite landing.

A cockpit voice recorder (CVR) group was convened and has completed a draft transcript of the entire event. The CVR transcript will be released when the public pocket is opened.

Additional information will be released as warranted.

Video: