Southwest will add an additional flight each to Chicago’s Midway Airport and to Salt Lake City from Sea-Tac Airport beginning May 10.
The new flights are part of a system-wide schedule adjustment Southwest announced today in Dallas. That schedule shake-up eliminates 40 existing flights and adds 49 more.
Most of the flights Southwest is eliminating are in markets where the airline has many flights. The airline, for instance, is cutting two daily flights from Chicago to Las Vegas. After the cut, it will still have 10 daily flights between the cities.
Oakland loses many flights, but again, those cutbacks in all cases will still leave Southwest customers with many choices. The airline, for instance is cutting back by two the daily flights between Oakland and Los Angeles. That still leaves 18 daily flights between those cities. Southwest is also eliminating two daily flights from Oakland to Burbank, leaving 15.
The Dallas-based carrier is not eliminating any flights originating in Seattle.
The big winner in the schedule changes is Denver where Southwest is adding a handful of cities. Southwest begins flying from Denver to Los Angeles five times daily. Likewise it adds Philadelphia (two flights), Raleigh (one flight), San Antonio (one flight), San Jose (one flight), and St. Louis (three flights) to its Denver route map.
After shunning Denver for years because of high airport costs and competition, Southwest reentered that market two years ago and steadily has expanded its presence, putting pricing pressure on the two dominant Denver airlines, Frontier and United.
The schedule adjustments are part of Southwest’s effort to squeeze out an additional $1 billion from its network this year.