PlanenutzTB
Topic Author
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SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:33 am

I was flying Southwest Airlines today and read an article in their June Spirit Magazine by CEO Gary Kelly. In the article he reviews ways SWA is seeking new and innovative ways to keep costs down. He mentions that SWA has recently started "extended overwater operations, allowing for more direct, more economical, and less congested routing". Can someone give more detail on how this helps SWA on their routes? What routes are impacted by extended overwater operations? Is this why I have noticed on my most recent SWA flights, the FA's are now doing a life vest demo?

BTW, the June Spirit Magazine celebrates the 35 years of SWA. It has many interesting articles about the history of SWA, its people, and of course a great interview with Herb Kelleher. Well worth picking up a copy of if you fly on SWA this month.
I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
 
atrude777
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:37 am

Quoting PlanenutzTB (Thread starter):
What routes are impacted by extended overwater operations? Is this why I have noticed on my most recent SWA flights, the FA's are now doing a life vest demo?

Absolutely, BWI-ISP, ISP-MCO,FLL, TPA any florida route from the northeast, HOU-MCO, TPA-HOU, those areas can now go overwater, farther, before WN had to stay extremely close to the land.
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:44 am

Quoting PlanenutzTB (Thread starter):
Can someone give more detail on how this helps SWA on their routes? What routes are impacted by extended overwater operations?

I believe it's to improve route efficiencies between the northeast and southwest markets to florida.
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PlanenutzTB
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:46 am

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 1):
Absolutely, BWI-ISP, ISP-MCO,FLL, TPA any florida route from the northeast, HOU-MCO, TPA-HOU, those areas can now go overwater, farther, before WN had to stay extremely close to the land.

Thanks for reply. These routes obviously make sense for overwater routing. Why is SWA only recently starting this? I would think they would always have done this.
I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
 
atrude777
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:48 am

Quoting PlanenutzTB (Reply 3):

Thanks for reply. These routes obviously make sense for overwater routing. Why is SWA only recently starting this? I would think they would always have done this.

Before they didnt have the 737-700, and winglets, with added fuel cost they are now looking for every single way to save fuel and having extended range helps save on fuel now. plus most of the flights were over land anyhow. now with the rise of the over water flights plsu rumors of going to HNL and such and mexico they want to go ahead and get the game started.

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
OPNLguy
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:48 am

Quoting PlanenutzTB (Thread starter):
Can someone give more detail on how this helps SWA on their routes? What routes are impacted by extended overwater operations? Is this why I have noticed on my most recent SWA flights, the FA's are now doing a life vest demo?

Prior to the lifevests being installed, SWA flights had to stay within 50nm of the nearest shoreline. With the advent of lifevests, that's been extended out to 162nm, and out to 100nm north of Wilmington, NC (ILM).

The big advantages are for flights to/from Florida. From the west, flights no longer have to hug the Gulf Coast via Crestview, FL (CEW) and Tallahassee, FL (SZW) and can instead take a shorter route via Leeville, LA, (LEV) and then out over the Gulf before crossing the Florida coast. From the airports in the NE, aircraft likewise no longer have to hug the Atlantic coast via Charleston, SC (CHS) and Savannah, GA (SAV) and can instead take shorter routes via ILM overwater to Florida destinations.

All this saves fuel, and it also increases operational flexibility when thunderstorms in Florida force major re-routes. Previously, if thunderstorms cut off the normal routes and ATC wanted to issue a re-route than ran you 70nm offshore, that re-route couldn't be accepted due to the 50nm limit, and the flight just sat there until the weather abated such that something within 50nm could be flown, or the normal routes opened up. Now, we have the flexibility to fly whatever re-routes are necessary (within 162nm, of course), and that means flights aren't delayed as badly.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
steeler83
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:07 am

Is PHL-PVD affected, or is that already an "overwater" operation?
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AirframeAS
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:12 am

Wait a sec..... life vests? Doesn't that add more weight to the aircraft? What's wrong with the seat cushions that are already floatable? I know this is about WN but AS has their seat cushions that can float on the 737's
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:16 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 6):
Is PHL-PVD affected, or is that already an "overwater" operation?

That one's not, but when the aircraft gets to PVD, it could easily be scheduled to do a Florida Leg where it comes in handy...

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
Wait a sec..... life vests? Doesn't that add more weight to the aircraft? What's wrong with the seat cushions that are already floatable? I know this is about WN but AS has their seat cushions that can float on the 737's

Yes, they do weigh more. FAA regs in essence say that seat cushions are only good out to 50nm. If you want to go out to 162nm, you'll need vests. If you want to go beyond 162nm, you'll need lifeRAFTS as well...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
gift4tbone
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:18 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 6):
Is PHL-PVD affected, or is that already an "overwater" operation?

I don't understand this? Even with the most direct-routing, the Airplane stays within 50 NM of long island, ny, so I don't believe this routing is affected. But PVD-FL, and maybe even PHL-FL routes are affected.

-Tony@PVD
Top 3 airports: PVD 23.9%(138 flights), PHL 14.7%(85 flights), PHX 10.2%(59 flights)
 
AirframeAS
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:36 am

OPNLguy: Makes sense about the regs. Thanks. I learned something new!
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Mir
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:39 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 5):
Prior to the lifevests being installed, SWA flights had to stay within 50nm of the nearest shoreline. With the advent of lifevests, that's been extended out to 162nm, and out to 100nm north of Wilmington, NC (ILM).

Any idea what the rationale is behind those numbers (why 50 as opposed to 60, etc.)? I assume 162 vs. 100 is due to colder waters up north, but any ideas beyond that?

-Mir
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OPNLguy
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 8:36 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 11):
Any idea what the rationale is behind those numbers (why 50 as opposed to 60, etc.)? I assume 162 vs. 100 is due to colder waters up north, but any ideas beyond that?

As far as why 50 and not 60 or 61, I have no idea. The FAA has their reasons, I suppose...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
PlanenutzTB
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:24 am

Thanks again for replies. This explaines why the life vests got inserted into the SWA safety demo and the floating seat cushions were delated a few months ago.
I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
 
lat41
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RE: SWA Extended Overwater Operations

Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:47 am

I check the routings on Flightaware often and I beleive I have yet to see the overwater route taken advantage of on the MCO and TPA to PVD flights. This does not meen it never does however. I do notice the NK A 319s using that path on the FLA flights but not their MDs. The short PHL PVD is almost always flown inland skirting the NY area congestion that I can determine.

Cheers