Southwest Airlines adds flights at MEM - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Southwest Airlines adds flights at MEM

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(WMC-TV) - Southwest Airlines is adding additional flights in Memphis.

Four new flights will be added with nonstop service to Chicago, Orlando, Baltimore/Washington. The new flights will begin August 11.

"We are very excited that Southwest has decided to add three new city pairs for Memphis to fly under its AirTran subsidiary," said Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority President and CEO Larry Cox. "Many years of relationship building with Southwest are paying off."

AirTrain is owned by Southwest Airlines and already operates five flights each day from Memphis to Atlanta. The new plans will add two flights to Chicago, one to Orlando, and one to Baltimore.

We found those flights online with prices ranging from anywhere between $94 to $128 dollars per leg.

In November, Southwest Airlines added flights at airports across the region. Service was added in St. Louis, Nashville, and Little Rock.

Now, it is Memphis' turn.

"This news is a home run for travelers in our region hungry for affordable flight options," agreed recently elected Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority Chairman Jack Sammons. "Southwest management has informed me that they will add additional flights this year based on how well these initial flights perform."

Airport officials want people to choose AirTran and Southwest whenever possible, in hopes of generating market growth and attracting new service and more planes.

"This is just the beginning of a great opportunity to see more affordable airfares, a more array of different carriers flying to different places," said Cox.

"It's the beginning of a lot of increased activity. It'll be terrific for Memphis," agreed Sammons. "It's so important to have affordable air service for economic development on our community."

University of Memphis business professor Dr. John Gnuschke says cheaper flights are good for business because more choices help better move customers and clients.

"We have to have better air transportation if we're going to compete globally and we're going to compete nationally," said Dr. John Gnuschke. "Any improvement we get in air service means positive increases in competition, reduction in costs for our local businesses and all of that is positive for the bottom line."

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