Saturday, December 7, 2013

Southwest Airlines announces 3 station closures

If you've been relying on Southwest Airlines to get you to Branson Airport (BBG/KBBG) in Missouri, Key West International Airport (EYW/KEYW) in Florida or Jackson-Evers International Airport (JAN/KJAN) in Mississippi, you'll soon need to make a new plan.

The airline announced Dec. 5 that it will cease serving those cities beginning on June 7, 2014.

"Unfortunately, the level of local demand no longer allows Southwest to profitably serve these markets," said Bob Jordan, Southwest's executive vice president and chief commercial officer, in a statement. "Southwest takes pride in becoming not only a great choice for air travel in the cities we serve, but we also become a member of the community. These decisions are never easy."

Southwest currently serves the Branson Airport with four non-stop departures a day to three cities: Chicago (Midway) (MDW/KMDW), Dallas (Love Field) (DAL/KDAL), and Houston (Hobby) (HOU/KHOU).

Jackson-Evers currently has four non-stop departures a day to three cities: Chicago (Midway), Houston (Hobby), and Orlando. And Key West service on Southwest currently includes three non-stop departures a day to New Orleans (MSY/KMSY), Orlando (MCO/KMCO) and Tampa Bay (TPA/KTPA).

Southwest's service to Jackson-Evers International reaches back to 1997. Branson Airport and Key West International Airport were added to the Southwest network in 2012, as part of Southwest's integration with AirTran.

The airline said Southwest employees who have been working at these locations will be offered opportunities to move elsewhere within the airline network when the flights cease operating and that it will operate its full schedule at each of these cities, with no disruptions, through June 6, 2014.

(Harriet Baskas - USAToday / Today in the Sky)

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