Dallas, Texas -- Southwest Airlines says its new cabin design updates use of durable and environmentally responsible products to reduce waste and create weight savings -- all while enhancing comfort for travellers.
The refreshed cabin features recyclable carpet, a brighter colour-scheme, and what the airline calls "a more durable, eco-friendly, and comfortable low-profile seat that weighs less than the current seat.
The design also increases the number of seats on board from 137 to 143, without sacrificing comfort and personal space.
Southwest says the new seats are made using "eco-friendly products" that offer more durability than the current seat, as well as a weight savings of nearly 6 lb (2.7 kg) per seat. A lighter weight fill from Franklin Products in the seat back provides increased comfort. Franklin says on its website that it produces both fire-resistant polyurethane and fireblocked polyurethane products.
The durability of the seat, coupled with fuel savings from 635 lb (288 kg) less weight per aircraft, is expected to give more than $10 million ongoing annual cost savings, Southwest says.
For the seat covers, Irvin Automotive of Pontiac, Michigan, uses E-Leather, an eco-friendly, lightweight, and scuff resistant alternative to traditional leather. E-Leather is made from natural leather fibre that is upgraded and combined with a high-performance core utilising eco-friendly technology.
By using the existing seat frame on 372 of its existing -700 fleet (excluding AirTran's -700s). By using the existing seat frames, Southwest is saving an additional $50 million.