- Southwest Airlines has announced two new destinations: Chicago O’Hare, Illinois and George Bush Intercontinental, Texas.
- The move has surprised many as the two routes are served by legacy carrier United Airlines.
- The company says it was always common for them to operate out of multiple cities in the same state, and are taking a gamble now that they have extra capacity.
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Nothing surprises us anymore. Just a few days ago we published new route details regarding Southwest Airlines’ expansion into Miami, Palm Spring and Montrose, and now they’re back at it again with two new destination announcements.
Starting initially as a low-cost carrier and operating out of smaller and nearby, the Texas-based airline has come a long way over the past few years, and is putting more of its chips on the table by tackling larger hubs traditionally held on to by legacy carriers.
In Southwest’s latest updates, they have announced that they will soon be flying to Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), two of United’s hubs. The new routes were announced via a tweet and press release, with the following message.
“We decided to see how our north side looks in Chicago and Houston. Keep your eyes here in the coming months for route specifics.”
Interestingly enough, Southwest has their own hubs a stone’s throw away from these two destinations, at Chicago Midway (MDW) and Houston Hobby (HOU) respectively.
The new flights are expected to go online in the first half of 2021, but no specifics have been given just yet.
Speaking to the media at the International Aviation Forecast Summit in Cincinnati, Southwest chief commercial officer Andrew Watterson said that, “it’s very common for us to serve multiple airports in the same city, we just had not been able to previously,”
“So now with extra aircraft, reduced activity in these airports, we’re able to introduce markets and offer customers a good choice to fly Southwest.”
With the pandemic still having a significant impact on travel within the U.S., Southwest has to opportunity to better spread out of its capacity across its newer destinations. To add to that, it is expected that Boeing’s 737 MAXs will be re-certified later in November, which would allow Southwest to slowly phase in their MAX aircraft as travel picks up over time.
[Featured Photo: Dllu/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)]