Southwest to Add Newark Routes

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Southwest announced today it will expand service from Newark International Airport next year, adding flights to Phoenix, Houston, Baltimore, and Denver, with service beginning June 5.

Here's a breakdown of the new routes:

  • Newark to Baltimore: three daily nonstops
  • Newark to Denver: three daily nonstops
  • Newark to Houston: two daily nonstops
  • Newark to Phoenix: two daily nonstops

Southwest already has eight daily nonstop flights planned—six to Chicago (Midway) and two to St. Louis—so the ten new flights bring the total to 18, exactly the number Southwest leased from Continental back in August (well, it leased 36 take-off and landing slots, enough for 18 daily round-trips). So even though Southwest hasn't actually begun flying from Newark, and won't until late March, its full initial schedule is already set.

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The new routes make a lot of sense. Southwest will route Florida-bound traffic through Baltimore, and the handful of Midwestern cities provide numerous options for westbound travelers. Notably but unsurprisingly absent is Boston—notable only because JetBlue added a Boston-Newark route in an apparent counterstrike against Southwest moving to Newark, and unsurprising because a Boston-Newark flight would only make sense if Southwest wanted to jump into the overheated Northeast shuttle market. That's not Southwest's style, and the cities it chose do far more to integrate Newark into its route network.

The airline is taking advantage of its longest booking window ever to offer introductory sale fares on the new routes. Book by Thursday for travel June 5 through August 12.

Readers, now that Southwest's Newark service is finalized, what do you think?

Read comments or add your own insight!
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