Southwest to launch new markets from San Diego

Washington DC
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Southwest Airlines will launch several new non-stop flights from San Diego from June 2014, and will use its newly won slots at New York LaGuardia to boost frequencies on existing routes.

The Dallas-based carrier will launch service between San Diego and Orlando; New Orleans; Portland (Oregon) and Seattle. The New Orleans flights will begin on 8 April, while the remaining three routes will start on 8 June.

Southwest will operate daily from San Diego to New Orleans and Orlando, twice daily to Portland and thrice daily to Seattle.

The airline will end the monopoly of Alaska Airlines in two of the four markets it plans to launch flights in from San Diego. Alaska is the sole carrier flying non-stop from San Diego to Orlando, as well as to Seattle, schedules in Innovata show. Alaska also operates between San Diego and Portland, and so does Spirit Airlines to a lesser extent.

Southwest will be the only airline operating between San Diego and New Orleans.

Separately, the airline announces today that it will use its new six slot pairs at LaGuardia to add flights on existing routes. Southwest is buying the six slot pairs from American Airlines, which had to divest them as a condition of antitrust approval of its merger with US Airways.

From 11 May, Southwest will add a daily flight to Nashville for a total of three daily, a daily flight to Akron-Canton for a total of three daily, two daily flights to Houston Hobby for a total of four, and two daily flights to Chicago Midway for a total of eight.

The new daily flight at Akron-Canton will be the first in that market to be operated on Southwest metal. Southwest subsidiary AirTran Airways is already operating twice daily between LaGuardia and Akron-Canton, and Southwest will take over one of these two daily flights from 8 June.

With effect from 8 June, Southwest and AirTran will cease operations on several routes. These are: Atlanta-Dayton (Ohio), Atlanta-Norfolk (Virginia), Atlanta-Louisville (Kentucky), Nashville-Greenville Spartanburg (South Carolina), Harlingen (Texas)-Dallas Love Field, Harlingen-San Antonio, Reno-Portland and Reno-Seattle. These are on top of the closure of Southwest operations at Branson (Missouri), Key West (Florida) and Jackson (Mississippi), which the airline had announced earlier.

Alaska entered the Portland-Reno market in November, as part of its strategy to expand its connecting hub at Portland International airport.