MIAMI — Southwest Airlines will be axing 20 nonstop routes from its network to re-shuffle its fleet and accommodate it on higher-demand destinations.
Starting January 2020, Southwest Airlines will exclude from its schedule what they call “weaker-than-expected” nonstop services.
“We are always evaluating our service patterns and performance to ensure that we are offering the right number of seats for the community based on demand from travelers,” said Media Relations representative, Dan Landson.
After a disconcerting few months of pared-down stock prices, mostly due in part to Southwest’s exposure to Boeing’s 737 MAX—which the airline is heavily reliant upon and making up nearly 9% of its fleet capacity—the carrier managed to hold onto gains this year with the help of a long-anticipated push into the Hawaiian market in March.
But although the carrier is one of the world’s most affected by the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX fleet, it continues to plan ahead for the steady growth that has been part of its DNA since its early days.
Southwest Airlines has 34 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes parked in Victorville, California. These planes come from a large order for 280 aircraft, all of which stopped being delivered since the type was grounded in early March.
As published in a report by OAG, Southwest has dropped more than 3 million seats from its schedule since the grounding, which translates into the airline losing more than 180 flights a day.
Likely because of this, the airline has had to remove from its schedules the following nonstop services:
- Los Angeles-Cancun
- Los Angeles-Puerto Vallarta
- Los Angeles-Omaha
- Los Angeles-Pittsburgh
- Boston-Kansas City
- Dallas Love Field-Oklahoma City
- Dallas Love Field-Jacksonville
- Dallas Love Field-San Francisco
- Orlando, Florida-Oakland
- Orlando-San Jose
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida-Jacksonville
- New York (LGA)-Orlando
- Austin-San Francisco
The airline notes that the aircraft that were stationed to operate these nonstop services will be placed elsewhere, including its new flights from California to Hawaii.
Last week, Southwest Airlines announced an all-new service from Sacramento (SMF) to Honolulu (HNL); from Oakland (OAK) and San Jose (SJC) to both Lihue (LIH) and Kona (KOA); and Southwest’s first-ever intra-island service between Kona and Kahului (OGG).
The new daily route between California and Hawaii, as well as the intra-island services, are all expected to launch in January 2020—just when the airline will be canceling the aforementioned nonstop services.
According to Southwest, these routes will continue to be offered through a one-stop itinerary.