Southwest Airlines has published its schedule for travel beginning March 14, 2010, through May 7, 2010 and the schedule is now available for booking.
By means of the airline’s flight optimization program, Southwest is adding 62 round-trip flights and eliminating 10 roundtrip flights each day throughout the period for a net daily gain of 52 round-trip flights, or 104 one-way flights systemwide.
The March schedule reflects seasonal travel patterns where demand increases during the Spring, but does not signify that Southwest Airlines is growing capacity, the airline says.
“Some airports will see noticeable increases ― Chicago gets 21 more daily flights, Baltimore gets 18, Orlando and Tampa each get 9 more flights,” writes Bill Owen, Southwest’s lead schedule planner, on the airline’s official blog site ‘Nuts about Southwest’.
Owen stresses that Southwest is not adding capacity. “To be clear ― we are NOT back into growth mode. We’re able to add all these flights not by adding to our fleet, but by taking advantage of the seasonal decrease in flying time going from Winter into Spring. You’d be surprised how much extra time an average decrease of five minutes per flight, spread across 3,200 flights a day, can create!”
He continues: “Another interesting fact about our new March-May Schedule is how much more flying we’re packing into the Saturday schedule. Saturday is the air travel equivalent of “Leisure Day,” and we’re really loading extra leisure-oriented flights into the Saturday schedule.
“For example, we’re upping Orlando’s daily departures from 104 to 129 on Saturdays. We’re going to keep that Disney Express hopping on “Leisure Saturdays!” In fact, we’re adding quite a number of Saturday flights to and from our Florida cities, as well as to/from Las Vegas.”
To view PDF charts of all the flight changes and Owen’s blog post, visit www.blogsouthwest.com.