Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today announced new service between Kansas City International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport beginning Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. The U.S. Department of Transportation granted Southwest Airlines authority to serve the new route in response to Southwest's petition, which was actively supported by Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Kansas City Director of Aviation Mark VanLoh, A.A.E. The first flight takes off this coming Saturday and will be operated by AirTran Airways, Southwest's wholly owned subsidiary, through Feb. 15, after which Southwest Airlines will operate the service itself.
"This announcement solidifies Kansas City's reputation as a top-tier, centrally-located travel destination for both business and leisure passengers," said Mayor Sly James. "People across the world are noticing what Kansas City has to offer, and I fully support Southwest's efforts to increase the volume of crowds coming to our City."
"Southwest has been interested for the past several years in providing our Kansas City Customers with nonstop access to Reagan National Airport. We thank Mayor James and Aviation Director VanLoh for their active support, and the Department of Transportation for its quick action in making this flight possible," said Ron Ricks, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer. "We have a great partnership with the City and the airport, and we know the route will bring our Customers flying between Washington, D.C., and Kansas City access to more seats and lower fares."
"When we learned another carrier planned to stop flying to Washington, D.C., we thought Southwest Airlines was the right airline to step in," said VanLoh. "More than 270 passengers per day fly from Kansas City to D.C., and now they can get there nonstop on Southwest!"
Southwest Airlines' schedule is now open through August 8, 2014; however, this flight is only available via AirTran distribution channels today through February 6. Beginning February 7, the flights also will be available at southwest.com.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 43rd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 45,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve 96 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and five near-international countries via its wholly-owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line approach that takes into account the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2012 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at southwest.com/citizenship.
From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. On every flight, Southwest offers Customers the first two pieces of checked luggage (weight and size limitations apply) and all ticket changes without additional fees. Southwest's fleet consistently offers leather seating and the comfort of full-size cabins, which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi connectivity, free live TV, and a new, sustainable cabin interior. In May 2011, Southwest acquired AirTran Airways and, by the end of 2014, intends to complete the full integration of AirTran's network into Southwest. With 41 consecutive years of profitability, the People of Southwest operate nearly than 3,200 flights a day. Southwest Airlines' frequent flights and low fares are available online only at southwest.com or by phone at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA.