Southwest Expands Flight Schedule – New Flights

Southwest Expands Route Network | Assumes Some AirTran Routes | Photo: Copyright Southwest Airlines

New Non-Stops Including Key West

Southwest Airlines has announced new flights and will begin operating popular AirTran routes with the merger of the two carriers.  Their new schedule allows for bookings through January 4, 2013, allowing customers to book flights for the upcoming holiday season.

The highly popular flights to flights to Florida’s Key West Airport (EYW) will be flown by Southwest starting November 4, 2012, with non-stops from Orlando (MCO) as well as Tampa (TPA).  This will provide customers in several cities with easy, one connection access to beautiful Key West, Florida.

The route to Key West is one of several Southwest is assuming from it’s subsidiary, AirTran Airways as Southwest Airlines moves to complete the merger under the Southwest brand.

First, Southwest is starting flights in a number of popular markets including the following:

New Southwest Airlines Markets

  • Two daily nonstop flights between Dallas Love Field (DAL) and Harlingen Vally Intl (HRL)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Denver (DEN) and Louisville (SDF)
  • Two daily nonstop flights between Houston Hobby (HOU) and Indianapolis (IND)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Houston Hobby (HOU) and Orange County (SNA)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Kansas City (MCI) and New Orleans (MSY)

Some of the routes, such as the newly announced Denver (DEN) to Louisville (SDF) are already flown non-stop by United Airlines and Frontier.  The new Houston (HOU) to Indianapolis (IND) and Houston (HOU) to Orange County (SNA) city pair’s are already operated by United Airlines, but out of Houston’s larger Intercontinental Airport (IAH) north of the city.  Southwest operates from Houston’s smaller, close-in Hobby Airport.  The addition of Southwest in these markets will increase competition, provide consumers with more choice, and ultimately drive ticket prices down.

Routes Southwest Assumes from AirTran

The following routes, previously operated by AirTran, will be operated by Southwest Airlines as the AirTran Boeing 737 fleet is re-painted with the Southwest livery and the interiors refit to match existing Southwest Boeing 737-700 fleet for consistency across the fleet.

  • One daily nonstop flight between Key West (EYW) and Orlando (MCO)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Key West (EYW) and Tampa Bay (TPA)
  • Two daily nonstop flights between Boston Logan (BOS) and Milwaukee (MKE)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) and Milwaukee (MKE)
  • Five daily nonstop flights between Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and Milwaukee (MKE)
  • One daily nonstop flight between San Francisco (SFO) and Milwaukee (MKE)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Orlando (MCO) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)

Several of these routes are already competitive, but the addition to the Southwest network will deliver additional benefits including ease of connections to hot destinations, Key West via Orlando and Tampa in particular.

AirTran has also adjusted their flight schedule to accommodate seasonal demand to several destinations.

AirTran’s New Seasonal Markets

The new seasonal routes provide flights between an array of cities in the Northeast United States to the Sunshine State of Florida.

  • One daily nonstop flight between Buffalo (BUF) and Tampa Bay (TPA)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Akron-Canton (CAK) and Ft. Myers (RSW)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Columbus (CMH) and Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Columbus (CMH) and Tampa Bay (TPA)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) and Indianapolis (IND)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) and Philadelphia (PHL)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Pittsburgh (PIT) and Tampa Bay (TPA)
  • One daily nonstop flight between Rochester (ROC) and Tampa Bay (TPA)
  • Four weekly nonstop flights between Flint (FNT) and Ft. Myers (RSW)
  • Four weekly nonstop flights between Grand Rapids (GRR) and Ft. Myers (RSW)

Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer and AirTran Airways President, said, “Our Customers have been eagerly awaiting our holiday flight schedules, and we are proud to announce today that we’ve got the best schedules around.”  Jordan continues, “We made flight adjustments based on holiday demand when we have some of the busiest travel days of the year. We know Customers are looking for the right flights and fares to visit loved ones across the country or take their families to Mexico or the Caribbean—and we’ve got them!”

Flights are bookable directly via Southwest Airlines as well as Southwest Airlines Vacations. Southwest Airlines Vacations provides package deals, including airfare, hotel, automobile rental, and checked bags still fly free.

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