Southwest Airlines Begins New York Service

While many airlines are downsizing, Southwest Airlines is expanding, it demonstrated yesterday when the Dallas-based low-fare carrier officially launched its new service to and from New York's LaGuardia Airport.

"Southwest Airlines is celebrating a truly momentous occasion today," Southwest Airlines' Senior Vice President of Operations Greg Wells said yesterday in a statement. "Finally New York travelers can experience our unmatched record in customer service and our phenomenally low fares at an airport close to where they work and play."

Southwest's new New York service includes eight daily nonstop flights—five to Chicago Midway and three to Baltimore/Washington—and connecting service to more than 45 other destinations, including Las Vegas, Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego.

"As we've gotten larger and our network has expanded, you can't ignore New York City," Bob Jordan, Southwest's executive vice president of strategy and planning, told The Dallas Morning News. "Eight percent of the domestic traffic is into and out of New York proper. As the largest domestic carrier in the United States, we just can't stay out of New York City."

New York is only the latest in a series of new destinations for Southwest, which launched service to Minneapolis in March and will begin flying out of Milwaukee in November.