Today we published the Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways schedules out through Nov. 2, 2012, making 256 days of travel available for sale. The majority of this Schedule is in October, a month known for a number of things: great weather … football … fall foliage … and no major changes in Customer demand! This new schedule reflects those subtle changes. In fact, the small list of added and eliminated markets should look very familiar—the vast majority of them are markets we’ve flown before, are old seasonal standards leaving us temporarily, or are part of the transition from the AirTran brand to Southwest.
To get specific, we’re bringing back daily seasonal service on the AirTran side between Baltimore/Washington and Ft. Myers and between Grand Rapids and Orlando—with returning Saturday nonstops between Flint and Tampa Bay. Southwest is bringing back nonstop daily service between Orlando and both Jackson and Indianapolis, plus a real Motown-style oldie comes back with the return of nonstop service between Detroit and Las Vegas, which we’ve not seen since 2006. Two brand-new Southwest markets are brand transitions, with Southwest replacing AirTran’s two daily roundtrips between Atlanta and San Francisco, and one of ten daily AirTran roundtrips between Atlanta and Orlando moving over to Southwest “metal.” We’ll also discontinue the two daily AirTran roundtrips between Atlanta and Phoenix, with the two existing Southwest nonstops in that market covering the Customer demand.
Discontinued markets are all seasonal in nature, and all on the Southwest side. Seasonal eliminations are between Seattle/Tacoma and both Atlanta and Nashville; Las Vegas and both Cleveland and Norfolk; and between Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood and Phoenix. And just as we did in the August schedule, we’re re-directing an AirTran market, as we’ll end service between Des Moines and Milwaukee and simultaneously add new nonstop service between Des Moines and Chicago Midway.
Besides those changes, we’ll be making minor frequency changes on both networks—48 roundtrip markets will change for Southwest (resulting in a system net decrease of nine daily roundtrips), and 28 roundtrip markets will change on the AirTran system (net system decrease of eight daily roundtrips). Aircraft conversion from AirTran to Southwest continues, with one former AirTran 737-700 entering Southwest service in mid-October. There are also other exciting fleet changes coming throughout October, as we’re planning to increase the number of 737-800s flying the Southwest network by two to 24, and the number of 737-700s configured with the amazing Evolve interiors is planned to grow to over 200!
Coming up, the next schedule opening will be perhaps the biggest of the year, as our November/December schedule is planned to open for sale on May 21. This (of course!) will include the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Holidays, and that open-for-sale date could change, so feel free check the date on southwest.com as we get closer. Until then, enjoy the winter and start planning those Fall 2012 trips now—and thanks for your business. Have a great week!