Southwest Expands Sillicon Valley Services

US low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines is growing its operation at Mineta San José Airport by increasing frequencies on four of its existing routes in 2014.  The carrier will add a daily flight to Denver, San Diego, Seattle and Orange County on the back of “strong passenger bookings” from Silicon Valley customers.

The additional frequencies will see it serving Denver four-times daily, San Diego 10-times daily; Seattle three-times daily and Orange Country nine-times daily.

The airport welcomed the frequency increase.  “It’s extremely good news that Mineta San José International Airport’s largest carrier is growing its operation here, providing more options for travelers going to Denver, San Diego, Seattle and Orange County, or making a connection through one of these cities to its vast domestic and international network,” said Kim Becker Aguirre, director of aviation.

“Southwest Airlines recognises that passengers are choosing San José for its convenience to their business or home in Silicon Valley.  Also, travellers have certainty that San José flights will arrive and depart on time thanks to our excellent weather year-round,” she added.

Southwest Airlines currently offers 70 non-stop departures per day from Silicon Valley to 12 cities and in the table below we highlight the development of its activities at Mineta San José Airport.  The last ten years of operations at the facility can easily be broke down into two distinct five year periods; a slow growth between up until 2008, followed by a reduction in capacity between 2009 and 2013.  The frequency growth in 2014 will reverse the latest trend, but it is worth noting that despite reducing its own capacity at Mineta San José, Southwest’s share of the traffic at the airport has actually grown, reaching almost 58 per cent in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES SCHEDULED FLIGHT ACTIVITY AT MINETA SAN JOSE AIRPORT (non-stop annual departures)

Year

Departures

% Change

Capacity

% Change

% Capacity Share

2013

22,896

(-1.3) %

3,247,905

1.6 %

55.3 %

2012

23,209

(-3.0) %

3,195,658

(-2.0) %

57.8 %

2011

23,924

0.1 %

3,260,816

0.1 %

57.9 %

2010

23,902

(-6.2) %

3,257,174

(-6.4) %

57.7 %

2009

25,474

(-7.4) %

3,478,433

(-7.4) %

56.6 %

2008

27,508

0.5 %

3,754,676

0.3 %

52.8 %

2007

27,369

5.5 %

3,745,023

5.4 %

49.4 %

2006

25,947

1.6 %

3,553,059

1.6 %

47.0 %

2005

25,532

1.3 %

3,495,844

2.6 %

46.3 %

2004

25,213

1.4 %

3,405,626

3.3 %

42.9 %

2003

24,870

-

3,297,420

-

41.6 %


Elsewhere, Southwest has this past week launched flights to three cities that were previously established by wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways.  The new routes complete a plan to bring Southwest service to all domestic cities in the company's network by year's end, as the integration of Southwest and AirTran approaches its final phases.

Exclusive Interview with Robert E. Jordan, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Southwest Airlines and president of AirTran Airways from World Routes.

With effect from November 3, 2013, Southwest has been serving Memphis from Baltimore, Houston (Hobby), Orlando, Chicago (Midway), and Tampa Bay; Pensacola from Nashville and Houston (Hobby) and Richmond from Orlando.  However, AirTran will continue service between Atlanta and Richmond International Airport, with four daily non-stop departures and Southwest anticipates a full conversion in Richmond in the second half of 2014.

"It is exciting for us to offer Southwest service in these markets," said Gary Kelly, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Southwest Airlines. "We plan to further the extraordinary service that AirTran has offered these cities with our traditional low-cost, Fun-LUVing Southwest style."