Southwest adds 3 new routes, cuts 5; another 38 resume in summer schedule extension

Dec 16, 2021

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Southwest Airlines is gearing up for a busy summer season, especially among leisure travelers.

The Dallas-based carrier just extended its schedule for the second time in a week, now giving flyers a complete look at what the airline plans to fly from June 5 through Labor Day (Sept. 5).

If a recent Southwest schedule extension rings a bell, you’re not dreaming — last Thursday, the airline extended its schedule through June 4, and it’s now putting the entire summer on sale, as it tries to cater to those who like to plan far in advance.

Along with the schedule extension comes a slew of network changes, including three new routes and a plethora of returning ones too. The airline will also exit five markets as part of the extension.

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3 new routes brings the total to 6

Southwest is adding three new lines to its route map, all focused on taking summer travelers to popular leisure destinations.

This includes once-weekly service on Saturdays in the following three markets commencing on June 1, 2022.

  • Austin (AUS) – Cozumel, Mexico (CZM)
  • Nashville (BNA) – Portland, Maine (PWM)
  • Denver (DEN) – Eugene, Oregon (EUG)

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The once-weekly service will likely cater to those seeking longer vacations, whether it’s a week on the beach or an extended stay with family.

Southwest’s new routes (Map courtesy of Cirium)

Of the three new routes, Southwest will only go up against one competitor: United, in the Denver-to-Eugene market. The carrier will have a monopoly on the two other routes, according to Cirium schedules.

While these are the only new routes as part of Southwest’s summer extension, the airline unveiled three more new ones in last week’s schedule update.

That included once-daily service between Austin (AUS) and Tulsa (TUL), four-times-weekly flights between San Antonio (SAT) and Oklahoma City (OKC) and once-weekly flights from Syracuse (SYR) to Tampa (TPA) — all of which commence on April 25.

Of the new flights, perhaps the most interesting is the Austin to Tulsa service, as it’ll go head-to-head against American and Allegiant.

In recent months, American Airlines and Southwest have been fighting for passengers in Austin, which has long been a stronghold for the latter. Citing strong demand and a surge in companies relocating to the Texas capital, American has doubled down on Austin with a slew of new nonstop routes and a snazzy Admirals Club.

It’s clear that Southwest isn’t going to stand on the sidelines while its rival tries to capture its market share.

5 routes are getting axed

Along with the six new routes come five cuts. A Southwest spokesperson confirmed that the airline will pull out of the following routes in early June.

  • Dallas/Love Field (DAL) — Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP
  • Dallas/Love Field (DAL) — Louisville (SDF)
  • Washington/National (DCA) — Jacksonville (JAX)
  • Washington/Dulles (IAD) — Orlando (MCO)
  • Richmond (RIC) — Tampa (TPA)

It’s most interesting to see three Florida cities lose a route. Throughout the pandemic, traffic to and from the Sunshine State has recovered faster than most other markets, though it’s likely that the airline couldn’t turn a profit on these ones.

38 routes are coming back

Southwest is also gearing up for a busy summer season, as the airline prepares to bring back 38 routes that it had previously suspended.

Seven of the returning routes will be operated year-round, while the remainder will operate seasonally.

You’ll find the full details at the bottom of the story, but highlights include three returning flights from Denver, a city that’s seen more competition than ever thanks to United‘s growth in this mid-continental hub.

Full list of Southwest’s returning routes

Market Effective date Frequency
DEN-AMA June 5 Sundays-Fridays
DEN-LBB June 5 Daily
DEN-MAF June 5 Sundays-Fridays
HOU-SDF June 5 Sundays-Fridays
MDW-MBJ June 5 Daily
MDW-ROC June 5 2x Sundays-Fridays
MDW-TUL June 5 2x Sundays-Fridays, 1x Saturdays
ABQ-SAT June 11 Saturdays
ALB-DEN June 11 Saturdays
AUA-MCO June 5 Daily
AUS-PNS June 11 Saturdays
AUS-PVR June 11 Saturdays
BNA-OKC June 11 Saturdays
BWI-GCM June 11 Saturdays
BZN-DAL June 11 Saturdays
CHS-MCI June 11 Saturdays
CHS-STL June 11 Saturdays
CLE-TPA June 11 Saturdays
CMH-MYR June 5 Daily
CUN-MKE June 11 Saturdays
CVG-PHX June 11 Saturdays
CVG-TPA June 11 Saturdays
CZM-DEN June 11 Saturdays
DAL-RNO June 11 Saturdays
DAL-SEA June 11 Saturdays
DEN-ECP June 11 Saturdays
DEN-PNS June 11 Saturdays
DTW-LAS June 11 Saturdays
FLL-PHL June 11 Saturdays
IND-MYR June 5 Daily
IND-SAN June 11 Saturdays
LAX-MKE June 11 Saturdays
MCI-PDX June 11 Saturdays
MCI-SEA June 11 Saturdays
MDW-PWM June 5 Daily
OMA-TPA June 11 Saturdays
SEA-STL June 11 Saturdays
SJU-STL June 11 Saturdays

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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