After American walked away from its St Louis hub, Southwest came in with additional flights. Now, the onslaught continues. Looks like Southwest is making its move on the Gateway City.
Southwest’s May schedule is now out (PDF) and there are some interesting moves. I’ll start with St Louis. The following flights are being added.
- St Louis to Los Angeles starts with 2 daily flights
- St Louis to Nashville starts with 2 daily flights
- St Louis to New Orleans starts with 1 daily flight
- St Louis to Raleigh/Durham starts with 1 daily flight
- St Louis to San Diego starts with 1 daily flight
- St Louis to Seattle starts with 1 daily flight
- St Louis to Houston goes from 3 to 4 daily
- St Louis to Minneapolis goes from 2 to 3 daily
The LAX and Seattle flights are interesting because those are both still flown by American. I believe Southwest actually used to fly the LAX route before, but now it’s apparently the right time to come back in. While I doubt they’ll push American off the LA route just yet, I bet we see American walk away from Seattle one of these days. Speaking of LAX routes that Southwest is re-entering . . .
Long haul is making a comeback. Southwest is bringing back the Baltimore to LAX nonstop flight that it cut awhile back. The single daily flight, along with a Baltimore to Seattle run, will mark one of the first times we’ve seen Southwest go back into coast to coast flying after severely cutting back in recent years. Baltimore is also seeing an additional daily flight to Albuquerque, Buffalo, Denver, Vegas, Manchester, Norfolk, Phoenix, and Raleigh/Durham. Only the Florida markets of West Palm and Ft Myers lose a flight – going into the slower summer season that makes sense.
By the way, those LA and Seattle flights? Those are currently flown by AirTran. Looks like Southwest is making a little run at them to reassert their position in Baltimore.
Southwest also put out its Panama City schedule. They’ll run twice daily to Baltimore, Houston, Nashville, and Orlando. Looks like they’re spreading the wealth around so they can maximize connectivity. Seems like a smart way to go into that airport. I’m sure Nashville is happy to see service to a new airport from the get go. They seem to have been neglected down there for awhile.
Overall, the moves look good. We should thank Southwest for continuing to be very transparent with these changes.