Four thousand flights in one day. New and discontinued markets. Frequency adjustments on a nearly daily basis. And all together? Must be the November/December schedule, the most complex and difficult of the year, and it opens today!
On Thanksgiving Sunday, November, Southwest will cross the 4,000 flights in a single day mark, when we’ll have 4,068 departures scheduled on one day, more than any day in Southwest history! This is a huge milestone for Southwest—for any airline, really—but don’t forget, we’re flying over 4,000 flights that day all for one reason: our Customers. It’s not the number of flights, but the number of memories that Southwest will help our Customers to make. After all, most folks like to get away for the holiday, and it seems like all of them want to travel back home on that Sunday. And it’s not easy to meet all that demand! But with the way our airline is growing, I’d bet 4,000 departures a day will be routine for Southwest soon enough!
Overall, the November/December schedule is reflective of the change in seasons, both from an operational as well as traffic perspective. Flying times and turn times are reflective of cold-weather operations and travel patterns (Snow Birds, anyone?), and these are carried through all of the schedule permutations we’ve published for the Thanksgiving and December/New Year’s Holiday schedules. Out of the 646 markets we serve in early November, we’ll add or initiate service in 97 of them, and reduce or eliminate service in 51 others.
In “new nonstop” news, we are adding four totally new nonstop markets.
Baltimore/Washington-San Jose, CA nonstop service will complement our four other nonstop transcon California markets from BWI—Oakland, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
A new double-daily nonstop between Washington/Reagan and Providence answers our Customer’s requests for a connection between our Nation’s capital and New England.
The double-daily nonstop between San Jose, CA and Salt Lake City links the original Silicon Valley with an emerging one in the Utah mountains, and a new daily nonstop between Kansas City and San Antonio offers great connectivity on both ends!
Besides these brand new markets, we’re adding seasonal nonstops in 23 other markets.
On the other end of the spectrum, we’re ending our nonstop between Atlanta and Oklahoma City (intended to be a permanent cancellation), and ending seasonal nonstops in three markets.
Details on all frequency changes may be found on the attached spreadsheet. Note when looking these specifics that those numbers are based on a typical weekday during November and December—the numbers on days when we’ve cut more service, or added more, may be different. (And objects in the mirror really might be larger than they appear!)
November 27 will definitely be a busy day for Southwest—certainly one for the record books. But every day is a busy one, and every flight we complete is one for the record books!
I also want to quickly acknowledge the big news Gary revealed at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders yesterday in Chicago: we’re applying to fly from LAX to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos! We’re filing the application for route authority with the DOT this month and if it is approved would start service in November. It’s an exciting time as both countries are poised for a new chapter of low fares and more service as soon as the pending Aviation Agreement goes into effect. Stay tuned for more on that!
Enjoy the details page, have a great weekend, and let me know if you have questions.