Southwest Airlines is cutting seventeen routes from their network in January. The end of these routes will allow Southwest to better allocate its resources on other, more profitable routes. However, not all is lost, as Southwest will expand service to Hawaii.
The route cuts
Los Angeles, Boston, Orlando, and Dallas will bear the brunt of these cuts. Three routes will no longer operate from Los Angeles and Orlando. Meanwhile, Boston and Dallas will lose three routes each.
Southwest will end these routes from Los Angeles:
- Cancun, Mexico
- Omaha, Nebraska
- Pittsburgh, Philadelphia
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Boston will lose nonstop Southwest service to the following cities:
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
And, Dallas-Love Field will lose service to the following cities:
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- San Francisco, California
Orlando loses these services:
- New York-LaGuardia
- Oakland, California
- Sacramento, California
- San Jose, California
In other news, Southwest will end service between Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Columbus, Ohio and Oakland, California, and Austin, Texas to San Francisco.
What Southwest says
As reported by USA Today, Southwest Airlines also confirmed the changes to Simple Flying with the following statement:
As we extend our published flight schedule through March 6, 2020, we are making some changes in some markets based on extensive performance reviews to end nonstop service between these city pairs, effective Jan. 6, 2020. The move allows us to offer itineraries with as little as one stop between these cities, while allowing us to better utilize our People and Planes on routes that warrant new or additional service.
Whether Southwest announces new service with their quirky flight attendants is yet to be announced. Nor has Southwest mentioned any specific routes that could receive service upgrades with additional aircraft.
These cities will still have one-stop service on Southwest. However, some passengers may prefer to have nonstop service and choose another carrier. Several of these routes are served by other carriers. These include some of Southwest’s low-cost rivals like Spirit and Frontier. Still, some routes do see full-service carriers like JetBlue, Alaska, and Delta serving those city pairs directly. Although a limited number of flights are available out of Dallas-Love, American’s hub out of Dallas-Forth Worth serves Oklahoma City, Jacksonville, and San Francisco directly.
Perhaps Southwest will use this opportunity to inaugurate new services from cities losing service. These cancellations seem to be separate from the 737 MAX groundings. Considering how Southwest expects the 737 MAX return in 2020, these routes must not be profitable for Southwest Airlines.
Are you affected by these cancellations? What do you make of these cancellations? Let us know in the comments!