As it looks to target more business travelers, Southwest Airlines began offering service to Newark Liberty International Airport yesterday with more flights planned to the airport just outside of New York City by this summer The Wall Street Journal reports.
“We’ve got nearly 100 million passengers a year who fly us,” said Bob Jordan, Southwest’s executive vice president of strategy, and a large percentage of them “want to go to New York City, want to go to Newark.”
The current Newark service includes six flights to Chicago and two flights to St. Louis. On June 5, Southwest will add 10 daily flights—to Baltimore, Orlando, Fla., and other cities.
Expansion into New York, which Southwest has only recently been focusing on, doesn’t come without drawbacks in the region known for congestion and lengthy delays. But with the high demand for the New York market and the dense concentrations of business travelers who frequent the region, a more aggressive move into New York makes sense for the discount carrier and could even help lower fares to the region according to The Wall Street Journal article.
By this summer, Southwest will operate 18 daily flights to Newark with 8 daily flights currently at LaGuardia Airport with up to 19 additional flights once its merger with AirTran Airways is approved.