See.....didn't I tell you to keep watching for more surprises here on "Nuts About Southwest"?
Today we're announcing more growth for our burgeoning Denver franchise, so I guess you could say that this is a (ahem) "Denver Post." Starting on March 14th, we'll add new nonstop service in five markets: Denver-Hartford, Denver-Boise, Denver-Ontario, Denver-Detroit, and Denver-Washington/Dulles. Each market will have one daily nonstop, roundtrip flight. With this new service, Southwest will have 120 weekday departures from Denver International Airport.
And in true informercial style....."But Wait! There's More!" Beginning in May of next year, we're adding more service in seven other markets from Denver: Sacramento (for a total of three roundtrips), Tulsa (for a total of three), New Orleans (going to two), Portland (total of three), Oakland (for a total of four), Baltimore/Washington (also increasing to four), and Seattle (total of three). This brings us to 127 weekday departures from Denver, making DEN our seventh-biggest Station--ahead of such airports as Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando...and gaining on our first two airports: Dallas and Houston!
And not to leave Saturdays out...on Saturdays in the May-August 2010 schedule we're introducing nonstop, roundtrip service between Denver and New York-LaGuardia! We're able to add this new service to slot-restricted LaGuardia because slots are not as restricted on Saturdays.
Southwest has never grown an operation as fast as we've grown Denver. And, I can absolutely attest to that first-hand: recently, I made connections at Denver flying between Dallas and Minneapolis/St. Paul, and what I saw was a stark contrast to what I saw just before Southwest returned to the Denver market. Back then, Concourse C was all but a ghost town. Gate areas were lifeless. Podiums were unmanned. Concessions had very little business. The moving sidewalks had (literally) nobody on them.
Contrast that with what I saw weekend before last: gate areas full of typically happy, animated Southwest Customers. Podiums staffed with Southwest Employees providing Positively Outrageous Service. Concessions full to overflowing with patrons. Moving sidewalks full of people (including the ubiquitous little kid running backwards on them...never fails...). Southwest has literally brought Concourse C to life with our soon-to-be 127 flights! With the new service next May, we'll be up to 12 gates on Concourse C--a huge increase from just two gates and 13 departures when we started in 2006. We're also busy putting a distinctly Denver stamp on our DEN operation by hiring many local residents. In fact, our headcount at DEN is up to just shy of 400 Employees, including many Colorado natives!
It's been a busy two days here in Dallas telling you guys about new, planned service in 2010, so I may take a day off--but please comment, as I'll be watching and answering! Have a great weekend, everyone!