Southwest Airlines will be adding more flights out of New York’s LaGuardia (LGA) and Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA) airports this fall, as a result of the airline receiving several new slots at both of these airports.
Due to airport congestion, both airports are currently slot restricted, however Alaska Airlines will be ending service to New York (LGA), and cutting back at Washington Reagan (DCA), meaning they will be leasing their unused slots to Southwest Airlines.
Southwest Airlines shared the following:
Southwest has entered into an agreement with Alaska Airlines to lease six slot pairs (six roundtrip flights) at LaGuardia and four slot pairs (four roundtrip flights) at Reagan National beginning in October 2018 for a total of 10 new roundtrip flights. These flights are in addition to the flights we already operate at these airports. We’ll share details in the coming weeks when we publish the new flights made possible by this additional access at these slot-controlled airports.
It’s unclear as of yet, what these new slots mean in terms of routes. Will we see additional frequencies on current routes that the airline serves, or will we see new routes. I still think it’s too early to tell, and Southwest doesn’t even know yet their plans other that these are two great markets for them to grow in.
At New York’s LaGuardia, Southwest currently serves Atlanta, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, Houston–Hobby, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Nashville, St. Louis, Tampa, with seasonal service to Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, San Antonio.
I’d expect an additional frequency to both Atlanta, Chicago–Midway, however with the additional four slots, it’s likely we’ll see a new market or two being added on the East Coast. I know LaGuardia-Baltimore is one that many would like to see.
When it comes to international expansion, they’re limited to pre-clearence airports, so Nassau and Aruba would be feasible, and I think Nassau would be a great addition for Saturday service.
You’ll recall Southwest Airlines to Launch Phoenix to New York (LGA) Nonstop Service, which they’re offering on Saturdays due to the perimeter rule currently in place at LaGuardia, which was initially designed to promote expansion at New York’s John F. Kennedy.
What are your thoughts on Southwest receiving additional slots at New York LaGuardia and Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA). What new routes would you like to see added?