Southwest and AirTran announce new routes

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways each released flight schedules for the period between 8 January 2012 and 9 March 2012, the first effort by Southwest and AirTran to coordinate published schedules.

The schedule coordination is a first effort by both airlines to maximise operations and prepare for full integration. Southwest says it has also continued to optimise its network to better match capacity to demand. Customers will see some shifts in capacity due to the typical slowing of demand in the winter months matching supply of seats with passenger demand, and continued pruning of unproductive flying due to high fuel costs.

Southwest is pleased to announce some additional routes coming into the schedule. From January there will be one new daily nonstop roundtrip on each of the following city pairs: Nashville–Fort Myers, Denver–Providence, Ft Lauderdale/Hollywood–Manchester and Ft Lauderdale/Hollywood–Milwaukee.

A further addition comes on 12 February 2012 with one new daily nonstop roundtrip between Long Island/Islip and Fort Myers.

"As we move toward full integration, we continue looking for ways to optimise operations and schedules at both Southwest and AirTran," explained Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines executive vice president of strategy and planning and AirTran Airways president. "The airline industry is facing many challenges including significantly higher fuel costs. We must do everything we can to operate efficiently, continue to offer schedules that best match capacity to demand, and deliver the legendary customer service both airlines are known for."

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