Southwest Airlines and Flightcom Announce Agreement for Wireless Aviation Ground Support Systems

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System-wide deployment of wireless hands-free team communication improves efficiency and safety of aircraft pushback operations.

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We are excited about the additional margin of safety and efficiency that the system will add to our ground push-back operations.

Flightcom, a leader in innovative team communication solutions for aviation environments, today announced an agreement with Southwest Airlines to deploy Flightcom’s wireless aviation ground support communication systems at all of Southwest’s gates at its 73 destinations across the United States. Deployment of all systems is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012.

“Southwest Airlines continues its commitment to use innovation to provide the highest level of Customer and Employee safety,” said Marc Stank, Senior Manager Safety, Standards, and Regulatory Compliance, Ground Operations at Southwest Airlines. “We are the first major airline to widely deploy this type of wireless system, and we expect it will strengthen our team communications and operational efficiency.”

“The hands-free full-duplex communications capability in Flightcom’s wireless solution was highly attractive,” said Stank. “Flightcom was highly responsive to our specific requirements during rigorous testing and evaluation over the last year. We are excited about the additional margin of safety and efficiency that the system will add to our ground push-back operations.”

“We are extremely pleased to work with Southwest Airlines on this initiative to increase safety and efficiency,” said Reed Stager, executive vice president of Flightcom. “We have worked extensively with Southwest to incorporate their ramp operations requirements in the development of our latest wireless ground support solutions, and this deployment validates the advantages of our systems and our total customer support.”

The Flightcom hands-free wireless aircraft pushback system continuously connects one or more wing walkers with the tractor operator during aircraft movement, allowing the operator to concentrate on correct and efficient maneuvering. The system enables instant voice communication between team members in the case of danger or a change in movement so ground teams are not dependent only on traditional visual hand signals or wands. The tractor operator wirelessly communicates with the aircraft pilot through a portable system, which also permits all team members to hear the pilot. The rugged and completely wireless headsets do not require a wired belt pack, have a 1600 foot range and offer 26dB of hearing protection to reduce the risk of hearing damage and to ensure personal safety.

About Flightcom
Flightcom is the leading manufacturer and worldwide supplier of innovative and reliable wireless team communication solutions for aviation environments. We support hundreds of thousands of pilots, commercial and military flight crews, and ground support personnel with headsets and intercoms that deliver clear communications, even under the most challenging circumstances. Our innovative solutions keep aviation and ground crews safe, effective, and productive during aircraft push-back, towing, deicing, and maintenance. Flightcom systems offer full-duplex hands-free communication with a choice of wired or wireless noise-reduction headsets, general aviation headsets, and flight or portable wireless intercoms. We back our commercial systems with our exclusive ComCare Service Programs, which provide up to five years of extended protection and expedited customer care -- the longest in the industry. Flightcom is a division of Sonetics Corporation. Visit http://www.flightcom.net or call (800) 432-4342 for more information.

About Southwest Airlines
In its 40th year of service, Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers--offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. Southwest serves 72 cities in 37 states and is one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet. To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit southwest.com/cares to read the Southwest Airlines One Report™. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and has more than 37,000 Employees systemwide. Earlier this year, Southwest Airlines completed the acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc., and now operates AirTran Airways as a wholly-owned subsidiary. AirTran serves 63 cities in 30 states and currently operates more than 790 flights a day. Additionally, AirTran serves seven international destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico. AirTran employs more than 8,500 Employees across the country.

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For more information, contact Courtney Hastings at Raffetto Herman Strategic Communications, PR firm for Flightcom at chastings(at)rhstrategic(dot)com or 202-585-0210.

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