DALLAS, June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) is bringing the Heart of their Employees front and center with the announcement of the carrier's first-ever Employee-designed uniforms and Boeing 737-800 aircraft Heart interior featuring the new Heart galley and seat.
"Introducing our new uniform designs and fully branded 737-800 Heart interiors into the fleet is an accomplishment directly resulting from our hardworking Employee design teams," said Gary Kelly, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer for Southwest Airlines. "Southwest continues to enhance our unique brand that brings reliable comfort and outstanding Hospitality to 98 destinations in eight countries."
Southwest first introduced the bold new look of its iconic brand in September 2014, unveiling a new logo, airport experience, and aircraft livery, Heart. Since then, the carrier continued this momentum with the roll out of the Heart brand, largely due to the hard work of Employee design teams and departments from across the Company.
New uniforms Designed by Employees for Employees
With the last complete redesign in 1996, Southwest has selected a new uniform designed by our very own Employees along with our partners at Cintas.
Southwest's nearly 40,000 frontline Employees are anything but uniform, so it only made sense that a group of 43 vibrant individuals from Ground Ops, Inflight, Provisioning, Technical Operations, and Cargo departments discussed, debated, and designed with Fellow Employees in mind. Once the design was complete, more than 120 Employees across 37 cities tested pieces for fit and comfort, performance and functionality, durability, aesthetics, style, and ease of care.
"Our energetic Employees are the Heart of our airline, and they were the perfect choice to design and develop our new look," said Sonya Lacore, Vice President Cabin Services and Executive Sponsor of the uniform redesign project. "Our brand, our planes, and our People are bold and modern, and the new uniform represents who our Employees are—spirited, professional, unique, and approachable."
The new uniform collection embraces the brand colors with splashes of Bold Blue and pops of Signature Red. The final selections will now move into manufacturing, and all Employees will begin wearing the new uniform in mid-June 2017.
New Seats Join the Fleet
The new seat brings Customers additional space and comfort with more leg room. As the widest economy 737 seat, the bold blue seat features an adjustable headreast, enhanced back and bottom comfort, and more room to hold personal belongings.
The seats are upholstered in Southwest's Bold Blue eLeather, a composition leather made of natural leather fibers. eLeather, which made its debut on Southwest aircraft in 2012, is manufactured using eco-friendly technology including state-of-the-art techniques which recycles 95 percent of the processed water and converts its own waste streams into energy, feeding back into the process.
Serving up Southwest Hospitality
A group of frontline Southwest Employees worked together to create a cutting-edge galley design, which will allow Flight Attendants to serve Customers even more efficiently than before. Unique in the airline industry, the transverse (aft) galley on our new 737-800 aircraft does not have carts (resulting in lighter weight), which means Flight Attendants can quickly prepare and serve Customers via trays—and our Customers can move about the cabin with ease once the seatbelt sign is off.
With the addition of the new G7 galley (located just past the forward-entry door), Flight Attendants will be able to more quickly accommodate Customers in the forward part of our new 737-800 aircraft. Additionally, new space in the forward galley area for required emergency equipment means more overhead bin space for Customers.
Currently, Southwest has three 737-800 aircraft with full Heart interiors flying in the system. The carrier plans to have 28 by year's end. Stay tuned for more tales from the runway, as Southwest Employees are certain to steal the show!
For images of the new uniforms, Heart interior, Galley and Seats, visit swamedia.com.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 45th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 50,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest operates more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season across a network of 98 destinations in the United States and seven additional countries. Southwest has applied to serve three destinations in Cuba with nonstop service from its Florida gateways, providing connections between the island and dozens of U.S. cities.
Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity. That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as more than 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created Transfarency℠, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look: Heart. The new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo, showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what's important in their lives.
From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets. With 43 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2015 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at SouthwestOneReport.com.
Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at Southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.
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SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.