Tag Archives: Southwest Airlines

Southwest adds extra flights to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood for the Super Bowl

Southwest Airlines today added more flight options for football fans traveling to the Super Bowl in Miami Gardens, Florida.

On Friday, January 31, 2020, Southwest will offer the following nonstop service for fans traveling:

From Kansas City to Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood: Five nonstop flights (an increase of three flights)

From San Jose, California. to Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood: One new nonstop flight added, in addition to connecting and one-stop service already available.

After the champion is crowned, Southwest will help travelers get back home with additional nonstop options.

On Monday, February 3, 2020, the carrier will offer the following flights:

From Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood to Kansas City:  Five nonstop flights (an increase of three flights)

From Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood to San Jose, California: One new nonstop flight added, in addition to connecting and one-stop service already available.

Southwest Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

 

Southwest Airlines opens its largest-ever hangar facility for technical operations at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport

Southwest Airlines has officially opened a new maintenance facility at William P. Hobby International Airport, highlighting the importance Houston holds for the nation’s largest domestic airline* and underscoring its commitment to Safety while investing in the Bayou City.

The 240,000 square foot maintenance complex, now the largest in the airline’s network, includes offices, training facilities, warehouse space, and a 140,000 square foot hangar. This allows for the nearly 400 Houston based Technical Operations Employees to work simultaneously on up to six 737 aircraft indoors and has space for an additional eight aircraft outside the hangar bays. It replaces Southwest’s smaller Technical Operations facility at Hobby Airport, which opened in 1988.

The airline is currently investing in aircraft maintenance build-outs at Baltimore/Washington International Airport and Denver International Airport, as well as an expansion of its maintenance facility at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport. Including the projects in Denver and Baltimore, the airline expects to have eight maintenance hangars throughout the United States.

Southwest extends the Boeing 737 MAX grounding to April 13, 2020

Southwest Airlines made this announcement:

Southwest Airlines continues to monitor information from Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the impending 737 MAX software enhancements and training requirements. We remain confident that, once certified by the FAA, the enhancements will support the safe operation of the MAX.

We previously removed the MAX through March 6, 2020 to offer reliability to our operation and stability for our Customers. Based on continued uncertainty around the timing of MAX return to service, the Company is proactively removing the MAX from its flight schedule through April 13, 2020.

By proactively removing the MAX from scheduled service, we can reduce last-minute flight cancellations and unexpected disruptions to our Customers’ travel plans. The limited number of Customers who have already booked their travel and will be affected by our amended schedule will be notified of their re-accommodated travel according to our flexible accommodation procedures. The revision will proactively remove roughly 300 weekday flights from our schedule out of our total peak-day schedule of more than 4,000 daily flights.

We offer our apologies to our Customers impacted by this change, and we thank them for their continued patience.

Southwest Airlines to share proceeds from Boeing agreement with employees

Southwest Airlines recently reached a confidential agreement with The Boeing Company (Boeing) to compensate Southwest for a portion of projected financial damages related to the grounding of the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

In light of this agreement, the Southwest Board of Directors has authorized a discretionary, incremental profit sharing accrual for Employees, which is tied to the projected reduction in operating income for annual 2019 due to the MAX groundings. The Company currently estimates this incremental profitsharing accrual to be approximately $125 million.

Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Our People have done an incredible job managing through the MAX groundings, while providing the highest levels of Customer Service and one of the best operational performances in our history. On behalf of the Southwest Board of Directors, we are grateful to our Employees for their extraordinary efforts throughout the year and are pleased to share proceeds from our recent agreement with Boeing.”

This incremental profitsharing award will be funded as part of the Company’s annual 2019 profitsharing distribution in 2020, in accordance with normal ProfitSharing Plan policies and Board of Director approval. The Company plans to provide 2019 profitsharing details early next year, including the percentage each eligible Southwest Employee will receive.

The Company continues to engage in ongoing discussions with Boeing regarding compensation for damages related to the MAX groundings. The details of these discussions and the settlement with Boeing are confidential. While still evaluating the applicable accounting principles, the Company currently expects to account for substantially all of the compensation as a reduction in cost basis of both existing and future firm aircraft orders, which will reduce depreciation expense in future years.

The Boeing 737 MAX fleet has been grounded since the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) order was issued on March 13, 2019. Southwest Airlines continues to monitor information from Boeing and the FAA on the impending 737 MAX software enhancements and training requirements. The airline remains confident that, once certified by the FAA, the enhancements will support a safe return of the 737 MAX aircraft.

Southwest Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Southwest Airlines extends flight schedule through August 10, 2020

Southwest Airlines today extends its bookable flight schedule through August 10, 2020.

As part of the schedule extension, Southwest also announces plans to bring new service to some of the largest cities across its network including: Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago (Midway), Denver, Houston (Hobby), and Nashville.

Atlanta
Effective June 7, 2020, Southwest will fly seasonal service daily between:
Atlanta and Charleston, S.C.
Atlanta and Panama City, Fla.
Atlanta and Norfolk, Va.
With these new additions, the carrier will operate 135 weekday departures during the summer, the most weekday flights ever offered by Southwest from Atlanta.

Baltimore/Washington
Effective June 7, 2020, the carrier will add seasonal service between:
Baltimore/Washington and Pensacola, Fla.
Baltimore/Washington and Tulsa, OK
Southwest’s summer schedule from Baltimore now will peak at 248 weekday departures, an increase of 11 flights. This is also the most departures the carrier has ever offered Baltimore travelers.

Chicago
Southwest is strengthening its position at Chicago Midway by adding flights across routes already served. The summer schedule will see the carrier offering up to 260 flights, an increase of 14 flights.

Denver
The carrier is adding flight frequencies in Denver to give travelers more options. In May, the airline will operate 240 weekday departures before increasing weekday departures to 249 in June, the most flights Southwest has ever operated from Denver.

Houston (Hobby)
Southwest is expanding its international options from Houston with nonstop service seasonally between Houstonand Nassau, The Bahamas, available on Saturdays beginning June 13, 2020, subject to requisite government approvals. This will be the carrier’s second announcement of new international destinations from Houston this year, as it previously announced twice-daily service between Houston and Cozumel will begin on March 7, 2020, subject to requisite governmental approvals. The carrier is also adding flights on routes already served from Houston to offer 191 weekday departures in summer 2020.

Nashville
In Nashville, the carrier is adding several new destinations with nonstop service on Saturdays seasonally between:
Nashville and Portland, Maine
Nashville and San Juan, Puerto Rico
Nashvilleand Portland, Ore.

Finally, Southwest also will offer new seasonal service linking Kansas City, Mo. and Charleston, S.C. The Saturday-only service will begin June 13, 2020.

Southwest Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

 

NTSB issues 7 safety recommendations based on findings from Southwest Airlines flight 1380 Investigation

NTSB issued this recommendation:

The National Transportation Safety Board determined during a public board meeting held Tuesday that a fractured fan blade from a CFM International CFM-56-7B engine, powering a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700, led to the engine inlet and fan cowl separating and subsequently damaging the fuselage, resulting in a rapid cabin depressurization.

One passenger died and eight others suffered minor injuries on April 17, 2018, when the fractured fan blade impacted the fan case, causing fan cowl fragments to strike the airplane’s fuselage near a cabin window. The window departed the airplane, and the cabin rapidly depressurized. The accident happened after Southwest Airlines flight 1380 departed New York’s LaGuardia Airport, bound for Love Field, Dallas, Texas. The flight crew conducted an emergency descent and diverted to Philadelphia International Airport. There were 144 passengers and five crewmembers aboard.

“This accident demonstrates that a fan blade can fail and release differently than that observed during engine certification testing and accounted for in airframe structural analyses,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “It is important to go beyond routine examination of fan blades; the structural integrity of the engine nacelle components for various airframe and engine combinations needs to be ensured.”

Photo of the damaged left fan cowl of Southwest Airlines flight 1380.
(In this NTSB photo-illustration, the damaged left fan cowl of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 is shown as viewed from the inboard side of the CFM56-7B engine. NTSB Photo-illustration)

The NTSB noted, as part of its probable cause, the accident occurred when portions of the fan cowl separated in flight after a fan blade, which had fractured due to a fatigue crack, impacted the engine fan case at a location that was critical to the structural integrity and performance of the fan cowl structure.  The NTSB found that the separated fan blade impacted the engine fan case and fractured into multiple fragments.  Some of the fragments traveled forward of the engine and into the inlet. The impact of the separated fan blade with the fan case also imparted significant loads into the fan cowl through the radial restraint fitting, which is what caused the fan cowl to fail.

As a result of the investigation the NTSB issued seven new safety recommendations with five issued to the Federal Aviation Administration, one to the European Aviation Safety Agency, and one to Southwest Airlines.

These recommendations address the need to ensure the structural integrity of the fan cowl on Boeing 737 next-generation airplanes and assess whether other airframe and engine combinations have critical fan blade impact locations, the importance of having flight attendants secured in a jumpseat during emergency landings, and guidance for mitigating hazards to passengers affected by an in-flight loss of seating capacity.

An abstract of the final report, which includes the findings, probable cause, and all safety recommendations, is available at https://go.usa.gov/xp9kv.

The final report for the investigation of the accident is expected to post to the NTSB website in the next few weeks.

Reuters: Boeing to give Southwest board 737 MAX update this week

Southwest Airlines, the largest MAX operator, has invited Boeing to give a presentation to its board on the return to service of the grounded type (Southwest has 34 MAX aircraft on the ground). The briefing will be held on Wednesday and Thursday according to Reuters.

Read the full story.