Southwest Airlines Co. announced an intention to bring the flexibility and value of Southwest Airlines to three new airports in 2021, including Bellingham International Airport. Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly today is sharing the following message with the Employees of Southwest:
I’m pleased to share with you all that today we’re announcing our intention to serve three more destinations and continue our focus on putting our aircraft to work to pursue more Customers and much-needed revenue.
And the destinations are (drum roll!) Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Eugene, Oregon; and Bellingham, Washington—three very different and appealing locations to both serve our existing Customers and places where we feel Southwest can make a real difference for local travelers.
We’re looking to start Myrtle Beach service in time for summer vacations and we expect our arrival to appeal to travelers who currently drive to this very popular coastal area in the Southeast. ‘Golf bags fly free’* should be very popular for Myrtle Beach service!
Eugene is about two hours south of Portland, and it’s ripe for the Southwest Effect, our Hospitality, and our flexible policies, with no hidden fees, and low fares.
Southwest service in Bellingham positions us just south of metro Vancouver, British Columbia. Following the reopening of the Canadian border, we expect a return of the value-minded travelers who already drive to this alternative airport to escape high fares and taxes—and that’s very, very typical for Southwest destinations. Southwest provides a great value for them.
Service to both Eugene and Bellingham is something we’ve anticipated in the second half of the year.
That makes 17 new airports that either we have opened or announced since the pandemic began. And for those that have commenced service, they’re performing very well. In fact, we just shared with the airports serving Steamboat Springs and Telluride that we’re extending our service beyond the winter season to continue serving both through the summer of 2021.
Colorado Springs, Savannah, and our Long Beach service to Hawaii all start-up this coming Thursday.
That’s a lot of work, a lot of new destinations, and a lot of options for our Customers and so I want to thank all of the Teams that have a hand in continuing to grow the Heart of Southwest while better positioning us to capture more Customers as the travel demand rebounds.
*Golf bags fly free as one of two checked pieces of baggage offered to every Southwest Customer (weight and size limitations apply)
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Specific forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to the Company’s network plans and expectations, including its intention to serve Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Eugene, Oregon; and Bellingham, Washington; and other new destinations. These forward-looking statements, based on the Company’s current intent and expectations, are not guarantees of future actions. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Among others, factors are (i) the Company’s ability to obtain necessary approvals, and the impact of governmental regulations and other governmental actions related to the Company’s operations; (ii) the extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on overall demand for air travel and the Company’s related business plans and decisions; (iii) the impact of economic conditions, governmental actions, extreme or severe weather and natural disasters, fears of terrorism or war, actions of competitors, fuel prices, consumer perception, and other factors beyond the Company’s control, on consumer behavior and the Company’s business decisions, plans, and strategies; (iv) the Company’s dependence on third parties; (v) the impact of labor matters on the Company’s plans and expectations; and (vi) other factors, as described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.
About Southwest Airlines Co.
In its 50th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 56,000 Employees to a Customer base that topped 130 million Passengers in 2019. Southwest has a robust network of point-to-point service with a strong presence across top leisure and business markets. In peak travel seasons during 2019, Southwest operated more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 101 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries. In 2020, the carrier added service to Hilo, Hawaii; Cozumel, Mexico; Miami; Palm Springs, Calif.; Steamboat Springs; and Montrose (Telluride), Colo. Thus far in 2021, Southwest has initiated service to both Chicago (O’Hare) and Sarasota/Bradenton on Feb. 14; and will begin service to both Savannah/Hilton Head and Colorado Springs on March 11; both Houston (Bush) and Santa Barbara, Calif. on April 12; Fresno, Calif. on April 25; Destin/Ft. Walton Beach on May 6; Bozeman, Mont. on May 27; and Jackson, Miss. on June 6. The Company has announced an intention to initiate new service in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Eugene, Ore., and Bellingham, Wash., all in 2021.
The carrier issued its Southwest® Promise in May 2020 to highlight new and round-the-clock efforts to support its Customers and Employees well-being and comfort. Among the changes are enhanced cleaning efforts at airports and onboard aircraft, along with a federal mandate requiring every person to wear a mask at all times throughout each flight. Additional details about the Southwest Promise are available at Southwest.com/Promise.
Southwest coined Transfarency® to describe its purposed philosophy of treating Customers honestly and fairly, and low fares actually staying low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some carriers offer free checked bags on select routes or in qualified circumstances). Southwest does not charge change fees, though fare differences might apply.
Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. Learn more about how the carrier gives back to communities across the world by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship.
Book Southwest Airlines’ low fares online at Southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.