Get out the suntan lotion and the beach balls. The initial schedule for next Summer went out for sale today, making flights available all the way out to June 30, plus we’ve published schedule additions that will become effective even before we get to the Summer. There are lots of details to share about new markets as well as eliminated ones, so read on!
Effective April 8, we’ll re-enter the New Orleans-San Diego nonstop market with one daily roundtrip. We had served previously from 2000 to 2005, but discontinued in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Service will be daily. Then, on May 11, we will add six new flights to and from New York’s LaGuardia Airport, service made possible by the slots we recently obtained as a result of the AA/US merger. We’ll add two more roundtrips between LaGuardia and Houston/Hobby, for a total of four; two more between LaGuardia and Chicago/Midway, for a total of eight; one more between LaGuardia and Nashville, for a total of three; and one more between LaGuardia and Akron/Canton, for a total of three.
Moving on to the 2014 Summer Base schedule, we’ve completely re-optimized everything, so nearly every flight number, departure/arrival time, and block time will change. You’ll find the popular quick-reference chart below, but let me call your attention to a few new markets of particular interest. The first big thing you’ll notice is the addition of three new nonstop markets to and from beautiful San Diego: one daily roundtrip to Orlando, two daily nonstops to Portland, Ore., and three daily nonstops to Seattle/Tacoma! Along with other San Diego frequency changes (including the addition of a second daily San Diego-Nashville roundtrip) this will give us an even 100 daily departures each weekday from Lindbergh Field. Elsewhere around the system, we’ll add nonstop seasonal service in 21 markets—16 returning favorites and five brand-new ones, including the first-ever nonstop service between Houston/Hobby and San Juan, which will have one nonstop roundtrip every Saturday. Internationally, we’ll bring back Austin-Cabo service three times a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays).
Two seasonal markets—Hartford/Springfield to Ft. Myers, and Orlando to Minneapolis-St. Paul—will be discontinued, although connecting itineraries will continue to be available. Reflecting the continuing evolution of our system, 17 nonstop roundtrip markets will be permanently discontinued. These include the nine nonstop markets that will be eliminated with the closures of Branson, Key West, and Jackson, but also includes the elimination of nonstop service between Harlingen and San Antonio, which we’ve flown continuously since 1975. This elimination is difficult, but necessary given current market conditions.
The work to combine the Southwest and AirTran network continues, and to that end we’ll begin sharing service in nine markets. While we’ll completely convert five markets entirely to Southwest service, all of which are to and from Baltimore/Washington.
Again, a summary of all the new and eliminated nonstop service is here in the Summer 2014 Market Changes Chart. Of course, there are many other minor frequency adjustments in markets across the nation—over a hundred of them in fact! All changes are now available on southwest.com. And a final thing you may notice about this schedule extension is its duration. For our initial Summer 2014 schedule extension, we’ve only put out new inventory through June 30, a span of only about three weeks. We historically have put out the entire June-August timeframe all at once, and have for many years. Now—why would we do that? Hmmm …. well, let me leave you with some lyrics from the fantastic musical, West Side Story:
Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something's coming, something good,
If I can wait……...
Something's coming, I don't know what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great!
Be safe, y’all … and Happy Holidays!