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A Southwest 737-800 aircraft (Photo: SWAMedia)

Southwest Plans Seasonal Sensation as Summer Looms

As spring changes to summer, Southwest Airlines’ route map is changing as well, as the airline is adding and restoring service for the summer season. The airline plans on the new flights to be seasonal, with 15 of the 25 new flights and 17 of the 24 returning flights coming on a seasonal basis. The move comes as America surpasses the 30% of the total population being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with many expected to travel more this summer as restrictions ease.

For most of these services, the consistent trend of targeting leisure traffic means that airlines are trying to find gaps in the market and offer new nonstop flights to vacation destinations. The latest wave pushes more routes on cities like Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City and Boise in hopes of wowing locals. The Missouri-Kansas split city benefited greatly from the news and gained six new routes in the latest announcement out of nine new routes overall this summer season.

Southwest’s New Routes for the Summer of 2021 (Credit: Southwest Airlines)

For the City of Fountains, this comes just one day after Spirit Airlines announced an increased presence in Kansas City. Southwest will target a mix of destinations, ranging from new flights to Destin, Sarasota, and Miami while reinstating services to cities like San Antonio, Seattle and Orange County, routes that were discontinued due to COVID. Spirit service will not overlap the new routes, as the ultra-low-cost carrier will target Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Pensacola and Tampa with its new flights starting in June.

Responding to additional Southwest service, Kansas City Aviation Department director Pat Klein said, “We are happy about Southwest’s decision to make significant increases here for Kansas City travelers just in time for summer. We are especially excited that our travelers will have the opportunity to enjoy new nonstop destinations.”

Elsewhere, Boise will receive a boost from the Dallas-based airline as one new city will join the Idahoan town while two additional routes will be reinstated. The new route will see Boise linked to Orange County with a single daily flight. Returning to the flight boards will be service to Dallas-Love Field and Chicago’s Midway Airport, who will operate flights 6 times weekly and daily, respectively. All three flights are starting on a seasonal basis.

Southwest’s Planned Returning Routes (Credit: Southwest Airlines)

Enlightened by the announcement, Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp commented, “We’re excited to see Southwest expand its network of flights in Boise, opening up greater air service possibilities for our passengers. This summer, the Boise Airport will have nonstop service to the most destinations in the airport’s history – and more available seats than ever.”

Boise’s busiest summer will also be aided by Southwest’s reinstatement of San Diego, San Jose and increased Las Vegas flights. On other parts of the airfield, Alaska and Allegiant are also putting faith in the Idahoan capital with flights to Austin and Chicago-O’Hare on Alaska starting mid-June and flights to Nashville on Allegiant launching May 28.

Furthermore, Southwest is celebrating the reinstatement of international service to Costa Rica this summer, as June 6 will mark the return to the coastal region of Liberia. Service to the northwest Costa Rican town will resume with daily service to Houston-Hobby on June 6, will Saturday-only flights to Baltimore starting six days later. Houston flights are expected to be year-round service while Baltimore will resume seasonally. Both flights have been discontinued since April 2020. Service resumes with airfare starting as low as $129 one-way.

Ian McMurtry
Ian McMurtry
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