Southwest Airlines Adds Green Plane to Fleet

Southwest Introduces New Green Plane to Fleet

southwest_greenplaneSouthwest Airlines has always been one of my favorite carriers, a position which was recently reinforced when they refused to charge the onerous $100 checked luggage fee being levied by other airlines. My confidence in Southwest escalated another notch today when I learned a “green plane” is being added to their fleet. Environmentally friendly materials used in the interior of the Boeing 737-700 will equate to a weight savings of almost five pounds per seat, saving fuel and reducing emissions while adding recyclable elements to the cabin interior and reducing waste. Elements of the plane include:

  • InterfaceFlor Carpet – reduces labor and material costs because it is laid in carpet squares, thus eliminating the total replacement of areas such as aisles. The carpet is totally recyclable and the manufacturing process is dedicated to being completely carbon neutral.
  • Seat covers – offers more than twice the durability than the current leather seats as well as a weight savings per seat of almost two pounds. They are recyclable and have an environmentally- friendly manufacturing process.
  • Life Vest Pouch – more environmentally friendly because it offers a weight savings of one pound per passenger. The smaller pouch creates more room under the seat for carry-on items.
  • Foam Fill – A lighter weight fill in the back of the seats that reduces weight while providing increased customer comfort.
  • Wind Screen – bulkhead product that lasts longer than the current leather product, thus reducing labor costs and waste.
  • Aisle Rub Strips – switching from plastic to aluminum will help with durability, which reduces waste, as well as being recyclable.

As someone who is acutely aware of environmental issues, I applaud Southwest’s efforts, not only for this new plane, but for their long-term commitment to lead the industry in emissions reductions through fuel efficiency. The next time I step onto a Southwest aircraft, I will cringe just a bit less when considering the carbon footprint left by my flight.

8 Comments on “Southwest Introduces New Green Plane to Fleet

  1. This is wonderful news. Air travel has a huge carbon footprint so it’s great to see airlines taking action. Let’s hope others follow in the footsteps of Southwest!

  2. Well, the article is actually the greatest on this precious topic. I harmonize with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your future updates. Saying thanks will not just be enough, for the great lucidity in your writing. I will at once grab your rss feed to stay abreast of any updates. Authentic work and much success in your business dealings!

  3. I’d like to see more of this in the industry. Not waiting or following the crowd is one of the reasons I like Southwest airlines so much.

  4. Thanks, Barbara for telling us about the new green plane fleet at Southwest. They’re my favorite carrier, too. We leave a carbon footprint whether we travel or stay at home. But it’s good to know that there are choices such as this that will make a difference.

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  6. Like all travellers, I contribute to my share of emmissions via driving, flying etc.. While I suspect there are diminishing returns on environmentalising (is that a word?) planes, it is good to see airlines taking initiatives like those described above. I’ve read several that have focussed on getting paper reduced on planes (weight and waste), less water (which is deceptively heavy), lighter more durable seats, more efficient and lighter video systems and more. All are steps in the right direction.

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