Southwest Airlines announcing Monday that it will begin flights out of Akron-Canton Airport late this Summer, after last year's merger with AirTran.
Southwest spokesman Paul Flaningan tells AkronNewsNow " We are going to start service out of Akron-Canton Airport beginning August 12th. We're going to start faiilry small with two daily non-stops to Chicago Midway, and one daily non-stop out of Denver."
Flanagan says the current 14 daily AirTran flights from Akron-Canton will also continue while the merger is completed over the next two years.
Flaningan tells AkronNewsNow Southwest can successfully operate flights out of Akron-Canton and Cleveland-Hopkins without diminishing either airport's operations.
News Release from Southwest Airlines
2012—Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) and its wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways announced today revisions to upcoming summer and fall flight schedules that will provide the opportunity for Southwest Airlines to begin service to Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) and Dayton International Airport (DAY) beginning Aug.12, 2012.
Southwest’s schedule in Akron-Canton will offer two daily roundtrip flights to Southwest’s sizable operation at Chicago Midway and also Denver, with one daily roundtrip flight. Likewise, the airline will begin service to Dayton with one daily flight to Denver. Southwest’s service in both markets will complement AirTran’s existing service in these cities.
AirTran’s service will continue, and the airlines will jointly determine the best time to convert all AirTran’s flying to Southwest.
Southwest Airlines also announced it will transition AirTran’s operation in Des Moines International Airport (DSM) to a Southwest operation with Southwest assuming all flying at the airport. Beginning Sept. 30, 2012, Southwest will operate two roundtrip flights between Des Moines and Chicago Midway.
Southwest Airlines chose to begin service to CAK, DSM, and DAY to allow these markets to realize the benefits of the Southwest network, connecting them to large Southwest operations such as Chicago Midway and Denver.
“Southwest Airlines is thrilled to begin service to three markets that have for years desired to see canyon blue planes touch down on their runways,” said Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer and AirTran Airways President Bob Jordan. “Southwest will continue to serve these markets with exceptional Customer Service at a great value, with access to the broad Southwest network of destinations.”
In January, Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways confirmed plans for Southwest to continue operations at 22 AirTran markets where Southwest Airlines does not currently operate. In addition to DAY, CAK, and DSM, the markets that will eventually join the Southwest route map include: Flint, Mich. (FNT); Rochester, N.Y. (ROC); Pensacola, Fla. (PNS); Charlotte, N.C. (CLT);