Southwest Airlines to order larger Boeing aircraft

By Associated Press
Posted Dec. 15, 2010 at 1:22 p.m.

Southwest Airlines will order 20 new, larger versions of the Boeing 737 that could pave the way for the all-domestic airline to offer international flights.

CEO Gary Kelly said Wednesday that Southwest will change an existing order with Boeing to get new 737-800 jets beginning in early 2012. The 737-800s have 38 more seats than the largest planes in Southwest’s current fleet.

The airline plans to add international service when it completes the purchase of AirTran Airways, which flies to Mexico and the Caribbean.

Kelly says the new plane could be used to fly to Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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