Southwest Airlines flight attendants have approved a change to their contract to fly the larger Boeing 737-800, the company said on Thursday.
Southwest, which is seeking to acquire low-cost rival AirTran Holdings Inc to expand in U.S. East Coast markets, said the decision to introduce the 737-800 into its fleet was still not final.
The Boeing 737-800 can seat 189 passengers in a one-class configuration. Southwest currently operates smaller-capacity models of the Boeing 737. Use of the bigger aircraft would allow the carrier to transport more passengers in gate-restricted and higher-growth markets.
The Dallas-based low-fare airline said it was still waiting for a ratification vote from the full membership of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) on the issue and added it was evaluating network and configuration options.