Southwest to Cut 17 Daily Nonstop Routes in 2020by Daine Taylor
Southwest Airlines announced this week that it will be canceling service for 17 daily nonstop routes on Jan. 6, 2020, a move the carrier said is a routine adjustment to its flight schedule based upon demand.
Among the daily routes to be discontinued are four that serve Los Angeles, three that serve Boston, three that serve Dallas Love Field, and three that serve Orlando.
Although the airline will continue flying one-stop service between these destinations, Southwest will cease offering nonstop flights between the following destinations, starting on Jan. 6, 2020: Austin and San Francisco, Boston and Atlanta, Boston and Kansas City, Boston and Milwaukee, Columbus and Oakland, Dallas Love Field and Jacksonville, Dallas Love Field and Oklahoma City, Dallas Love Field and San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville, Los Angeles and Cancun, Los Angeles and Omaha, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Puerto Vallarta, New York LaGuardia and Orlando, Orlando and Oakland, Orlando and Sacramento, and Orlando and San Jose.
"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," said Southwest in a statement.
Southwest will also add routes in January, the most notable of which are the planned launches of eight Hawaiian routes in mid-January, including the carrier's first service to Kauai and its first flights to Hilo on the island of Hawaii.
The grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX has placed significant constraints on the airline's schedule. It had planned to be flying 75 MAX planes by the end of the year, but now the carrier expects to operate at 11% less capacity during the fourth quarter than it had originally predicted.
Southwest has removed the MAX from its schedule through July 5, 2020, but after that plans to bring them back into the fleet gradually. As a result, the airline needs to free up the planes for flights with stronger demand, including its newly proposed Hawaii routes.