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
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
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.