Since launching their ‘green plane’ trail in 2009, Southwest Airlines has enjoyed continued advantages from using the light weight, durable material on their seats. After passing stringent tests, E‑Leather was formally selected for the ‘Evolve Interior’. E‑Leather is one of the latest sustainable products to be found on board aircraft and has proven popular with a growing customer base due to the material’s significant weight savings – a factor crucial to the airline industry, as lower weight means lower fuel consumption. In addition to saving on costs of fuel, E‑Leather’s durability, its long lasting quality ambience and its wipe clean ease of maintenance was proven throughout the extensive two year ‘green plane’ trial.
“E‑Leather is a win-win-win for our passengers, our business, and the environment. By providing us with a high-quality product that looks great, is comfortable and lighter weight, E‑Leather is the perfect fit for Southwest’s ground-breaking interior redesign.” – Angela Vargo, Customer Marketing and Experience.
“Traditional hides are individually unique requiring them to be hand cut and hand sewn. This all-by-hand process leads to inconsistent yields, performance and final product making it impossible to properly manage and control a fleet of 75,000 passenger seats. By selecting E‑Leather’s rolled stock we get a consistent raw material with predictable performance. Our manufacturing vendors can utilize mass production techniques that not only help them operate more efficiently but help us get a uniform final product at a lower price. When you add in the weight savings, durability and environmental sustainment qualities, E‑Leather really stands above the competition. All these efficiencies help us keep our cost down while maintaining an industry leading interior for our customer.” – Geoffrey Buschur, Southwest Systems Engineer
During the ‘green plane’ evaluation, Southwest monitored fuel consumption for each flight, carried out in flight customer surveys and used focus groups, as well as suppliers to rigorously evaluate the performance and customer appeal of the products they were evaluating.
“Southwest has been impressed with the durability of E‑Leather in such a light weight product, and we have faith it will meet the high expectations we have regarding our new seat covers.The whole team at E‑Leather have truly been great to work with, and we look forward to a long future together.” – Eric Simonis, Manager – Component Supply Chain Management