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Southwest adding seats, retrofitting 737-700s cabin

STAFF REPORTS
Published on Monday, January 23, 2012

Southwest Airlines has announced a $60 million cabin refurbishing that is expected to cut fuel use while increasing revenue by $250 million a year, according to the discount carrier.

Extra seats and lighter materials will save about $10 million a year in fuel, the company reported. The extra seats, with lighter and thinner padding, with fuel savings will offset the high cost of fuel and Southwest’s industry leading no baggage fees.

Total seats on Southwest’s Boeing Co. 737-700s will total 143. The new interior will come with the company’s Boeing 737-800s in March.

The retrofit includes increased under seat space for carryon luggage and approved pet carriers, reducing the recline to two inches from three, netted seatback pockets replace pouches for more knee room and a fixed-wing headrest for neck and head alignment with side-to-side support for sleeping.

No additional overhead space is planned since Southwest’s no baggage fees encourage less carry ons, the company reported.

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