Monday, June 26, 2017

Southwest Airlines to Expand Via San Diego-Tampa Route

In a bid to expand further, Dallas-based low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines announced that it will launch nonstop flights connecting Tampa, Fla. and San Diego. The carrier intends to start operations on the route from Jan 8, 2018 onward. In fact, tickets are already available for the new service.

Notably, prices have been kept low in a bid to attract more and more passengers on the new flights. The new route on operation should find favor among passengers as it expands their choice of travel between the favorite tourist destinations.

We note that Southwest Airlines has been constantly looking to expand its wings. To this end, it recently commenced flight service at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). Following this, the carrier offers a total of eight daily nonstop flights, five between CVG and Chicago Midway (MDW) and three between CVG and Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI).

In addition, the new flights’ customer-friendly policies are a welcome relief for travelers who have been paying high fares so far. In fact, not only Southwest Airlines but most other carriers are looking to expand courtesy their strong financial position.

According to a projection by Airlines for America (‘A4A’) – the trade organization for the leading US airlines – US carriers which include the likes of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines are in for good times in the current summer season (Jun 1-Aug 31).

In particular, it is predicted that the summer of 2017 will be the busiest season of all times for American carriers in terms of air travel. This is because 4% more passengers are expected to fly to various destinations over the period compared with the last year (Read more: U.S. Carriers Likely to Have Busiest Summer, Says A4A).

Apart from its expansion initiatives, Southwest Airlines was also in the news when it announced a 25% hike in its quarterly dividend payout last month. Moreover, its board of directors approved a new share repurchase program worth $2 billion at its annual meeting of shareholders. In fact, the new buyback scheme will replace another $2 billion repurchase plan that was completed recently.

(Zacks Equity Research / Yahoo Business News)

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