Southwest has said it considers Boston an important destination, and it’s backing up those words with new routes. The low-cost carrier will begin direct service from Boston to Philadelphia on June 27. Philadelphia is Southwest’s fifth destination served from Boston, joining Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, and St. Louis.
Southwest made the announcement at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the carrier’s new $45 million expansion in Philadelphia International Airport’s Terminal E. The airline will fly five daily nonstops between Boston and Philadelphia, with introductory fares starting at $59 one-way (book by April 18, travel June 27 through August 13).
The Boston Globe reports that Southwest’s entry to the BOS-PHL market could have a significant effect on fares: “US Airways is currently the only carrier with direct flights to Philadelphia…. If you try to book a flight from Boston-Philly on June 27, the day Southwest begins service, one-way, nonstop fares from Southwest range from $59-$147; the cheapest similar ticket available from US Airways is $550. You do the math.”
That article was posted at 11:37 a.m. By 1:48 p.m. the same day, US Airways had dropped all of its nonstops on June 27 to $59 each way. Boston, meet the Southwest effect.