The InterfaceFLOR "flight crew" attending the recent Southwest Airlines press conference announcing the partnership. Pictured left to right are Dan Hendrix, Interface Inc. Chairman; John Bradford, Chief Innovations Officer; and John Wells, President and CEO, Interface Americas.

InterfaceFLOR's modular carpet tiles have been chosen by Southwest Airlines for its newest fleet, emphasizing the sustainability as well as practicality of the material. The move is part of Evolve: The New Spirit Experience, a cabin update that utilizes durable and environmentally responsible products to reduce waste and create weight savings onboard the aircraft.

The cabin refresh features recyclable carpet, a brighter color-scheme, and a more durable, eco-friendly, and comfortable low-profile seat that weighs less. The new design also provides the unique opportunity of greater revenue potential by increasing the number of seats onboard from 137 to 143, without sacrificing Customer comfort and personal space and increasing under-seat room for carryon luggage, according to the company.

“We are preparing now for our next 40 years of success with a fleet modernization plan that includes the new interior, the Boeing 737-800 which will come online beginning in March this year, and the 737 MAX, which will join the Southwest fleet in 2017,” said Bob Jordan, Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer. “The evolutionary changes we’re making with the new interior uphold our low-cost roots and historic focus on customer service. The cabin upgrade also allows us to create revenue opportunities without adding unwanted fees.”

Southwest said it will begin retrofitting its current fleet of 372 -700s in March, anticipating completion in 2013.  As integration of AirTran moves forward, the Boeing -700s and -717s will also be retrofitted with the new cabin interior as those aircraft are converted into the Southwest brand over the next several years. Other Southwest fleet types are still being evaluated for a possible retrofit.