Barely two weeks after its inaugural take-off from Boston's Logan Airport, Southwest is adding a new nonstop route to St. Louis. The new service begins January 10, and offers connections to 24 cities. The carrier also added nonstop service from Minneapolis, set to begin in January. Introductory fares start at $59 one-way from Boston and $49 one-way from Minneapolis, and must be booked by tomorrow.
So why St. Louis, and why now? Southwest says immediate strong demand from Boston and a lack of service in and out of St. Louis created an opportunity. Southwest spokesman Paul Flaningan told the Boston Globe "As some of our competitors are cutting back, we see it creating opportunities for increased service in St. Louis."
More than anything, the new St. Louis service gives Southwest more options for routing connecting flights. As it stands, the airline's Boston service connects people to just about everywhere Southwest flies, but the additional gateway means Southwest can offer more flights and, in some cases, better and shorter itineraries.
Of course, it may have made more sense to add service to a new region. Southwest already flies from Boston to the Midwest (Chicago), and while St. Louis is a lovely city, New Englanders may have been more excited about a new nonstop route to, say, Florida (especially with winter around the bend).