New flight schedules released by Southwest Airlines and subsidiary AirTran Airways for August 12 through September 28 show that Southwest will offer new service in nine non-stop markets, including new service from Atlanta to Norfolk and Louisville, while AirTran will launch one new route.
These two new Southwest Airlines markets from Atlanta are not already served by AirTran Airways. Southwest will operate three round-trips a day between Atlanta and Norfolk and three between Atlanta and Louisville.
Southwest will also operate two weekday round-trips between both St. Louis and New York LaGuardia and between St. Louis and San Antonio. With the additional flights, its daily departure count from St. Louis rises to 90.
New Southwest service that replaces existing service operated by AirTran Airways includes Atlanta-Seattle, one daily round-trip; Denver-New York LaGuardia, two daily round-trips; Los Angeles-Milwaukee, two daily round-trips; Milwaukee-New York LaGuardia, two daily round-trips (three additional flights remain on AirTran; and Milwaukee-Seattle, one daily round-trip.
Southwest will also add two more flights between Atlanta and Los Angeles, which will replace two AirTran flights.
With the new schedule, also, two daily nonstop flights at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) will transition from AirTran to Southwest. As of August 12, Southwest will offer 41 flights from Seattle, which will be the first airport to fully convert from dual AirTran/Southwest service to Southwest Airlines-only service.
Across the rest of the Southwest network, the total number of weekday departures declines from the carrier’s summer high of 3,422 to 3,250, with a flat aircraft count.
While Southwest is increasing frequency in seven round-trip markets (in addition to the Atlanta-Los Angeles increase), it will reduce nonstop service in 88 round-trip markets from their summertime highs.
Southwest is eliminating non-stop service in 11 round-trip markets – some seasonal, some covered by existing AirTran service, and some that are no longer profitable.
The non-stop markets being eliminated are Albuquerque-Lubbock; Albuquerque-Midland/Odessa; Albuquerque-Orlando; Baltimore/Washington-Seattle (seasonal); Fort Lauderdale-Kansas City (seasonal); Houston Hobby-Seattle (seasonal); Indianapolis-Orlando (AirTran service remains); Jackson-Orlando; Jacksonville-Tampa; Milwaukee-Tampa (seasonal, and AirTran service remains); and San Diego-St. Louis (seasonal).
AirTran’s new August-September 2012 schedule also reflects the seasonal softening of customer demand as well as the need to free up aircraft to go through the conversion process to Southwest Airlines’ cabin configuration.
Accordingly, AirTran will decrease systemwide daily departures from 680 on a typical Friday to 568, a reduction of 112 flights.
In addition to the market eliminations announced on January 20, as well as the AirTran-to-Southwest service conversions listed above, AirTran is adjusting frequencies upwards in seven markets and downwards in 25 others.
Seasonal summer non-stop service in 11 markets will be cancelled, although connecting service will continue to be available on either AirTran or Southwest.
These market are Baltimore/Washington-Fort Myers; Baltimore/Washington-New Orleans; Baltimore/Washington-San Francisco; Baltimore/Washington-Seattle; Charlotte-Orlando; Columbus-Fort Lauderdale; Flint-Tampa; Fort Lauderdale-Indianapolis; Grand Rapids-Orlando; Grand Rapids-Tampa; and Rochester-Tampa.
AirTran will also eliminate its double-daily round-trips between Akron/Canton and Milwaukee, replacing them with two daily Akron/Canton-Chicago Midway non-stops.