On Thursday, Southwest Airlines announced its tenth destination in the Sunshine State. Starting sometime in the first three months of 2021, the carrier will launch new routes to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.
Tenth Southwest Florida destination
New routes and services are a rarity these days, and we feel happy any time we can report on such announcements. On Thursday, Southwest Airlines said it would be expanding its Florida network by adding Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) from the first quarter of 2021.
“We’ll arrive in Sarasota–Bradenton as Southwest marks 25 years of serving the Sunshine State. Our Customers who choose SRQ will land closer to their preferred beaches, and business meetings, benefiting from our added investment in the growing region between our longtime cities of Tampa Bay and Ft. Myers,” Steve Goldberg, Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality for Southwest said in a statement seen by Simple Flying.
“Locals who fly Southwest can also pair their preferred airline and airport and get in the air faster with a shorter drive to SRQ,” he continued.
Service details and flight schedules remain undisclosed, but Southwest says they will soon be made available.
Sarasota-Bradenton makes Florida a perfect 10, as our tenth destination in the Sunshine State. More details on fares and flights soon! pic.twitter.com/xQTBIZ6ubN
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) November 12, 2020
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Miami launching before the end of the week
Sarasota Bradenton will be the all-737 carrier’s tenth destination in Florida. The airline’s previously announced service to Miami will launch this Sunday, November 15th. Southwest will fly non-stop to the Magic City from Tampa, Baltimore/Washington, Houston Hobby, and Chicago Midway.
Especially significant for SRQ in these times
These are indeed difficult times for any actor in aviation. Sarasota Bradenton International Aiport’s CEO, Rick Piccolo, is understandably delighted at the prospect of welcoming another carrier, especially of Southwest’s size.
“We are thrilled to welcome Southwest Airlines to the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ). This is especially significant during these challenging times in aviation,” Mr Piccolo said.
“Southwest’s low fares and renowned customer service will provide the bi-county community, as well as our inbound visitors, with access to the vast network of destinations that Southwest Airlines serves.”
Sarasota Bradenton Airport is located three miles north of downtown Sarasota and six miles south of Bradenton. Before it was built in 1942, both cities had their own airfields; Bradenton Airport from 1935 and Sarasota’s Lowe Field from 1930. The first shut down sometime during WWII, and the latter stayed open until 1961.
Southwest has already taken off for Hawaii
Just one week ago, Southwest finally operated the inaugural flight of its new San Diego to Honolulu route. The airline first intended to launch the service in April this year, but, as we know, a certain virus and a locked-down Hawaii happened. Just weeks before it was meant to start, the airline had to push its plans back, but Hawaii’s new pre-departure testing scheme recently opened the state back up to visitors from the mainland.
Do you think both leisure and business travel to Florida will have picked up by the end of the first quarter in 2021? Let us know in the comments.