Southwest Airlines said its summer schedule, which starts June 4, will feature 22 new domestic and international routes, including some from the Bay Area as well as an expanded Caribbean network based at Ft. Lauderdale and a new presence at Cincinnati.
The company said it expects to increase its overall capacity this year by 3.5 percent (measured in available seat-miles) compared to 2016.
The airline’s new service on the West Coast includes three flights a day between San Francisco International-Portland and one a day between San Jose-Reno, along with seasonal non-stop service from Oakland to Newark Liberty International. At San Diego, Southwest will begin new daily flights to Boise and Salt Lake City, as well as seasonal service to Newark, Spokane and Indianapolis.
However, California’s Orange County Register reported that Southwest will trim its operations at John Wayne Airport due to a shift in capacity allocations among airlines there. Southwest this week ended its Orange County-Mexico City service, the newspaper said, and on January 14 it will eliminate flights from John Wayne to Austin, Kansas City, Portland, St. Louis and Seattle, followed by the end of Puerto Vallarta flights April 25.
At Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Southwest said it expects to cut the ribbon in early June on a new international concourse, designated Concourse A in Terminal 1. The facility will serve passengers on flights to eight international destinations, including four new ones: Montego Bay, Jamaica; Belize; Cancun, Mexico; and (subject to government approval) Grand Cayman. Southwest already flies from FLL to Nassau, Bahamas and the Cuban destinations of Havana, Varadero and Santa Clara.
Other new service from Ft. Lauderdale starting June 4 includes daily intra-Florida service to Orlando and daily flights to Washington Dulles and Philadelphia. Elsewhere in Florida, Southwest will kick off two daily non-stops between Tampa-New York LaGuardia and weekend flights between Pensacola and Denver.
Another big focus in Southwest’s summer schedule is Ohio, where it will begin service at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport with five flights a day to Chicago Midway and three a day to Baltimore/Washington. At Cleveland, the airline will add service to Atlanta and a second daily roundtrip to St. Louis. On the losing end of the schedule changes in Ohio are Dayton and Akron-Canton, where Southwest will terminate its service.
Elsewhere in the Midwest, Southwest’s summer schedule includes new service between Indianapolis-Newark twice a day and Nashville-Minneapolis once a day.
The airline is offering introductory sale fares on many of the routes for travel this summer. The sale fares’ booking deadline is January 26. Sample one-way starting sale fares include: San Francisco-Portland, $49; San Jose-Reno, $39; San Diego-Boise, $89; Ft. Lauderdale-Washington Dulles, $69; Ft. Lauderdale-Cancun, $89; and Ft. Lauderdale-Montego Bay, $99.
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