Since I live in the suburbs of Chicago, Southwest is an airlines I like to fly. They fly out of Midway airport which is very close to my home. They also have a great fares, awesome flight attendants (I have never not laughed while on their flights), wide seats, and snacks. Instead of nickel and diming their customers to death, they have taken a much different (and eco friendly) approach.
When Southwest first started out, they were considered a discount carrier. They flew out of under served and cost effective airports. They purchased only one model of Boeing aircraft which has helped keep maintenance costs down. They also flew routes that maximized fuel performance. Southwest is now the largest airline in the US based on domestic passengers carried.
Southwest as also been at the forefront of making changes that not only save money, but also make their business more eco friendly. One sustainable initiative they did was the Pratt and Whitney’s Ecopower water pressure water system. This keeps engine turbine blades clean and lowered fuel waste by almost 2%! Southwest also recently started a new energy efficiency program that focuses on its planes’ landings. This enhanced landing system has been put into place at 11 airports. There are several automated systems which allow pilots to fly specially designed flight landing paths. This switch will lead to enhanced safety, but it could save Southwest up to $60 million a year once the program is adopted at all of its airports.
With the airline industry being a huge consumer of fuel and the planes being huge emitters of carbon and greenhouse gases, it is nice to see an airline implement fuel saving measures. This technology will save fuel, lighten our wallets, and help save our planet.
Do you fly Southwest? Will their green initiatives factor into your decision the next time you fly?
For more ideas on becoming more eco-friendly, check out our Greening Our Lives section.