Southwest Airlines will begin service to Newark Liberty International Airport with eight daily nonstop flights, six to Chicago Midway and two to St. Louis...

Southwest Airlines will begin service to Newark Liberty International Airport with eight daily nonstop flights, six to Chicago Midway and two to St. Louis on Sunday, March 27, 2011.

To mark addition of its 72nd network city, Southwest Airlines is offering introductory fares of $72 one-way plus taxes and fees between Newark and both Chicago and St. Louis. Fares are available for purchase through November 4 for travel from March 27 through May 25, 2011. Customers can find the fares only at

Southwest says the March 27 flights are only the first wave of the carrier’s new schedule at Newark International and that before the end of the year it will announce additional Newark flights to begin in 2011.

“This is a great day for Southwest and for customers in the New York-New Jersey area. We know the need for great service, low fares, and on-time flights. Southwest is proud to expand its wings into a very popular market and to provide low fare competition,” says Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ chairman, president, and CEO. “This proves, once again, the power of our product and the amazing job our employees have done to position Southwest on the east coast.”

Southwest Airlines has painted quite a few aircraft in its all-Boeing 737 fleet in special themed liveries. This 737-700 is painted in the state colors of Maryland and Southwest calls it 'Maryland One' to commemorate its strong presence at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, the busiest commercial airport in the state

In addition to the eight daily nonstop flights to and from Chicago Midway and St. Louis, Southwest Airlines’ new service will offer direct or connecting service to more than 45 destinations including Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Houston, and San Diego.

Southwest Airlines announced in August its intent to serve Newark Liberty International through a lease deal with Continental Airlines, contingent upon the closing of the already-approved merger of Continental and United Airlines and upon certain governmental approvals. With this agreement, Southwest Airlines has the right to operate up to 18 daily round-trip flights at Newark International.

“With the addition of our Newark service, Southwest will offer 11 daily nonstops between Chicago Midway and New York City, which will place more of Southwest’s low fares in that highly competitive market,” says Kelly. “And with the addition of Newark to our route map in March 2011, Southwest will now be able to fulfill additional demand to New York City from our customers in St. Louis and across the country.”

Its new Newark service will strengthen Southwest’s presence in the New York area, with flights to several New York area airports, including New York LaGuardia and Long Island MacArthur Airport. Additionally, Southwest will integrate Newark service into its extensive national route network.

Southwest should also gain many more slots at New York LaGuardia and other New York-area airports upon completion of its planned $1.4 billion acquisition of AirTran Airways, which offers frequent service to LaGuardia.

Given its penchant for deploying specially theme-painted aircraft in motifs and colors of the U.S. states to which it flies, it appears possible Southwest may one day paint one of its aircraft in a New Jersey-themed livery to mark its first service to the Northeast U.S. state.

On October 28, 2010 Southwest also announced the launch of a new partnership with Mexico’s Volaris Airlines which will see Southwest selling international connections from 20 U.S. cities to Volaris’ flights between three U.S. destinations and five Mexican cities.

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