Southwest to Boost Capacity 3.5% in 2017, Announces 22 New Routes

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Southwest Airlines, which plans to grow capacity 3.5% in 2017, has released details on 22 new and seasonal routes, including four international routes originating from its forthcoming international concourse at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida.

As of Nov. 30, 2016, the Dallas, Texas-based carrier had taken delivery of 131 of 155 Boeing 737-800s on order; 32 were delivered through Nov. 30, approximately three per month. At this rate, the remaining 737-800s should be delivered by July, in time for the planned entry-into-service of Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft, for which Southwest is the launch customer. Southwest has 200 737 MAXs on order.

Southwest’s new five-gate international Concourse A at Fort Lauderdale’s Terminal 1 is scheduled to open June 4. On that date, Southwest will launch 1X-daily service to Grand Cayman. On June 6, the airline will begin new routes to Montego Bay (Jamaica), Belize and Cancun (Mexico). The new routes are pending government approvals and will bring to eight the total number of international routes Southwest will operate from Fort Lauderdale (along with Nassau, Bahamas, and Cuban cities Havana, Varadero and Santa Clara).

Additionally out of Fort Lauderdale, Southwest plans to launch new 1X-daily service to Washington Dulles, 1X-daily service to Philadelphia, and 1X-daily service to Orlando beginning June 4.

The airline will also launch a new 2X-daily Tampa-New York LaGuardia service, as well as a weekend Pensacola-Denver route.

The airline also announced new Ohio routes beginning June 4, concentrating on operations out of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and Cleveland International Airport. Southwest plans to end operations out of airports in both Akron-Canton and Dayton on June 3. The new Ohio routes include daily Cincinnati-Baltimore, Cincinnati-Chicago Midway, and Cleveland-Atlanta service. The airline will increase Cleveland-St Louis service to 2X-daily.

Also out of the US midwest, Southwest will introduce new Indianapolis-Newark and Nashville-Minneapolis service, starting June 4.

On the US west coast, Southwest is boosting service from San Diego with two new routes (San Diego-Boise, Idaho and San Diego-Salt Lake City, Utah) and three seasonal routes (San Diego-Newark; San Diego-Spokane, Washington; and San Diego-Indianapolis, Indiana). All routes will begin June 4.

Additional new west coast routes to launch on June 4 include Portland, Oregon-San Francisco; San Jose, California-Reno, Nevada; and a seasonal route between Oakland, California-Newark.