Southwest enters a different Boston

HMN_map.jpgThey say that that Southwest has run out of low-hanging fruit, out of secondary airports like Oakland, Cal., or Long Island, NY’s MacArthur, and that’s why it’s going into real big airports where they have lots of old-fashioned airlines, airports like Minneapolis/St. Paul, where it starts flights in March.

True, but only up to a point. Consider the LUVline’s plan to enter Boston’s Logan later this year. It hasn’t chosen an exact date and it hasn’t named routes yet, but Southwest is entering a very different Logan than the one it shunned back in the 1990s when it began flights to Providence, RI, (1996) and Manchester, NH, (1998), straddling Boston with two secondary airports offering easier ground access. But since then, Boston is has changed. Not only is the airport easier (or least less difficult) to get to with the finally final completion of the city’s ‘Big Dig’ road project.

boston-logan-ma-041m.jpgMore importantly, Logan is no longer an airport where the traffic is split two or three ways among two or three old-time airlines (American, USAir and Delta). The leading airline at Logan is now JetBlue, which has about 17% of the traffic – the single largest share, according to the feds. Other low-cost carriers are also players at Boston, with Virgin America entering the fray just the other week. Virgin began flights to both its San Francisco base and to Los Angeles, eating into routes that American had long dominated. And AirTran is up to nearly 20 daily flights out of Logan, to Atlanta Hartsfield and BWI.

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One Response to Southwest enters a different Boston

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