Southwest will begin flying to Cincinnati this summer but will drop service to two smaller Ohio markets.

In addition, Southwest has applied to begin serving Grand Cayman this summer as it begins operating out of a new international concourse at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The carrier will launch operations at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport on June 4 with five daily flights to Chicago Midway and three daily to Baltimore.

The addition of Southwest is a coup for the Cincinnati airport, which is still seeking to replace much of the service it has lost over the last decade due to Delta's decision to dramatically downsize its hub there.

Filling in the void have been ultra-low-cost carriers Allegiant and Frontier. But the addition of Southwest, which carries more domestic passengers than any U.S. airline, will give Cincinnati fliers access to its point-to-point network of approximately 90 U.S. cities as well as 14 cities in the Americas and the Caribbean.

The move doesn't come without casualties, however. As Southwest moves to Cincinnati, it will halt operations out of Dayton, which is located approximately an hour north of Cincinnati's downtown. Southwest currently flies from Dayton to Chicago, Tampa and Orlando.

Southwest will also cease operations at Akron-Canton Airport in June to make way for new service on June 4 between Atlanta and nearby Cleveland.

Meanwhile, Southwest said that it expects the opening of the five-gate international Concourse A at Fort Lauderdale's Terminal 1 to come in six months. The carrier has applied for regulatory approval to offer its first flights to Grand Cayman in conjunction with the opening of that terminal. In addition to that daily route, Southwest will begin daily service on June 4 from Fort Lauderdale to Montego Bay, Cancun and Belize City. The routes will push to eight the number of international destinations Southwest serves from Fort Lauderdale.

Thursday's announcements came as Southwest extended its schedule through Aug. 14. Overall, the carrier plans to expand its available seat miles by 3.5% in 2017. 


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