Good morning, everyone! Today we opened our schedule through Feb. 13, 2013. We have the usual seasonal shifts planned for the January/February timeframe (which is historically the slowest traffic period of the year) and adjustments for the annual seasonal wind shifts as well as winter operations. But we have a couple of surprises as well—let’s get into the details!
Let’s talk LaGuardia first. We fought hard to get operating slots at “Fiorello’s Folly” and to make maximum use of them—we’re shuffling the deck. We’re eliminating our LaGuardia-Baltimore/Washington nonstop service, currently at three departures daily, and shifting that to two new LaGuardia-Nashville nonstops and a sixth LaGuardia-Chicago Midway flight. Our LaGuardia Customers can still access our network via Nashville and Chicago, and the new service really enhances LaGuardia’s access to our Midwestern, Southern, and Western network. Watching the internet like I do, I know that many people have wondered, “When is Southwest going to start flying to Nashville from LaGuardia?” Well, now you know—it starts on Jan. 6, 2013!
In other new service news, Southwest will add seasonal nonstop service in four markets: Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood-Phoenix, Nashville-Ft. Myers, Ontario-Reno, and Milwaukee-New Orleans. We’ll convert the AirTran nonstop service between Milwaukee and New Orleans to Southwest metal just in time for Mardi Gras (which falls on Tuesday, February 12). We will discontinue service between Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale; Orlando and Panama City; Tampa Bay and West Palm Beach; Reno and Salt Lake City; and Albuquerque and El Paso. All of these discontinued markets are shorthaul and carry a very high percentage of connecting, longer-haul Customers, and we have more convenient ways of getting them to their destinations. For the winter, we’re seasonally suspending service between Albuquerque and both Portland and St. Louis; between Las Vegas and Albany, Jacksonville, and Providence; between Kansas City and both Oakland and Seattle; and between Phoenix and Raleigh-Durham. All of these markets are expected to get nonstop service again in future schedules, and in the meantime will maintain connecting service.
On the AirTran network, we’re converting Atlanta-Phoenix service to Southwest metal (from Mighty Teal to Canyon Blue!), and are seasonally eliminating nonstops between Buffalo and Tampa Bay and between Chicago Midway and Ft. Myers (connecting service will still be available on both AirTran and Southwest).
Our next schedule extension will be Monday, July 16. Stay tuned, and have a great summer week, everyone!