Destinations include everywhere from Nassau and Havana to the Grand Cayman Islands and Cancun.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Southwest Airlines launches its ninth year-round destination from Cleveland Hopkins next week, continuing a pattern of slow growth at the airport in the years following the shuttering of the United Airlines’ hub.
Southwest, the second largest carrier at Hopkins after United, begins twice-a-day nonstop service to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Sunday. It’s a route that is already served by United, and marks a continued press by Southwest to cut into United’s market share in Cleveland.
“Southwest has concluded it’s worthwhile trying to pick those off. If it’s successful, I think you’ll see more,” said industry consultant George Hamlin. “It should be very interesting. It will be good for ticket prices, at least.”
Last year, Southwest Airlines launched service between Cleveland and St. Louis. Even before that service began, United – at the time, the only carrier serving the route – announced it was exiting the market.
Southwest Airlines said it plans to begin flights to Hawaii, with tickets on sale beginning next year.
The airline, which has made no secret of its plans to fly to the vacation hotspot, made it official with events in Honolulu and Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
Southwest did not announce routes or timing of the flights.
But Southwest CEO Gary Kelly has previously said the initial routes will not include Phoenix to Hawaii. Currently only American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines offer non-stop service to Hawaii from Phoenix.
Southwest Airlines celebrated a company first on a flight from San Francisco to St. Louis on Wednesday.
The flight was the first-ever all-woman flight crew aboard the company’s new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft fleet.
Crew members took a photo of themselves together aboard the flight. The Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft flew from San Francisco to St. Louis.
For years, the airline industry has experimented with different ways to load passengers onto planes in an effort to save time and money.
Carriers have tried seating passengers starting at the front of the cabin, and at the back. They’ve tried allowing passengers in window seats to board first, then middle, then aisle.
Now Southwest Airlines is testing a way to save time at the end of a flight, by unloading passengers simultaneously from the front and back of a plane.
The Dallas-based carrier began June 1 to test using two doors to unload passengers at Sacramento International Airport and San Jose International Airport. Some of the passengers have been exiting into jetways while the travelers exiting from the back of the plane take a staircase to the tarmac.
“The test period will help the carrier determine when to use dual door deplaning and to identify whether or not this process can be expanded to more airports across the network,” Southwest spokeswoman Casey Dunn said.
Dual-door operations have been used periodically by Southwest in the past in other airports, including Sacramento, San Jose, Burbank and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., “and have proven successful in improving both on time performance as well as the customer experience,” Dunn said.
PHOENIX — Southwest Airlines is getting closer to adding Hawaii flights, a vacation destination travelers have been begging the nation’s largest domestic airline to add for years.
Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, in Phoenix on Wednesday for Southwest’s annual shareholders meeting, said flights to Hawaii are a high priority for the airline. In contrast, he said Canada flights are on the airline’s radar but not a priority.
“We’re deciding what our plans are for 2018 and Hawaii is important to us,” Kelly said in a meeting with reporters after the shareholder event in downtown Phoenix.
PHOENIX — Southwest Airlines plans to boost its already strong presence in Phoenix with a major expansion at Sky Harbor International Airport in the next five years.
No, the carrier isn’t building a jazzy international concourse like it has in Houston and is opening in Fort Lauderdale. Nor will it add glamorous new destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.
But new Phoenix flights are definitely on the agenda: Southwest is adding eight gates to the 24 it already occupies in Terminal 4. The airline, the No. 2 carrier at Sky Harbor behind American with more than 170 daily non-stop flights to 50 cities, averages 10 flights per day from each gate.
The Dallas carrier has committed to be the tenant of a new eight-gate concourse due to open in 2021, Southwest President Tom Nealon said Wednesday. The gates will be near Southwest’s D gates, which debuted in 2005.
Cincinnati and the Cayman Islands are in. The Ohio cites of Dayton and Akron-Canton are out.
That’s the shakeout as Southwest rolled out its summer flight plan, extending its booking schedule through Aug. 14, 2017.
The carrier routinely adds and drops routes during its seasonal updates. But the latest schedule release features an unusual amount of activity; More than two dozen nonstop routes will begin with the 2017 summer schedule in June, according to information from Southwest.
The highest-profile changes come with the destinations that will join Southwest’s route map, and with the ones that will fall off.
CINCINNATI — The high ticket prices. The Delta dominance and downsizing. The drives to Dayton.
Finally, the day has arrived that might alleviate all the years-long headaches for Greater Cincinnati fliers.
Southwest Airlines, the crown jewel of low-cost carriers, announced Wednesday it’s coming to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, launching daily non-stop flights to Chicago and Baltimore beginning June 4. The carrier is pulling out of Dayton International Airport and shifting its flights to Cincinnati, similar to the move fellow low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines made in 2013.
Amid blue, red and yellow balloons and banners, top business and political leaders from both sides of the Ohio River touted Southwest’s arrival as a game-changer for an airport once notorious for having the nation’s highest ticket prices. Hyperbole? Well, they weren’t saying that when discount carriers Frontier and Allegiant came to town in recent years.
DALLAS LOVE FIELD – Two years after starting its international flights, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said the Dallas-based airline’s future expansion lies beyond the 48-states.
“Five years from now I’d love for Southwest to be in Hawaii, serving Canada, more destinations in the Caribbean and no doubt we’ll have more flights into Mexico,” said Kelly on Monday.
He added that the 737 MAX, a more fuel efficient model of Boeing’s most popular commercial aircraft, will open up even more destinations to Southwest.