Southwest to inaugurate Boston flights to Chicago and Baltimore in August

By Megan Kuhn

Southwest Airlines will make its Boston debut with flights to Chicago Midway International and Baltimore/Washington International airports starting 16 August as the low-cost carrier continues to shift its focus from secondary airports to major facilities and bolsters its presence in the Northeast.

Dallas-based Southwest will operate five daily nonstops from Boston Logan International airport to Midway and Baltimore/Washington-markets the airline will inaugurate from New York LaGuardia airport on 28 June.

Other major airports Southwest has entered during the past couple of years include Washington Dulles International, San Francisco International, Seattle-Tacoma International and Denver International.

Boston also represents the latest New England connections for Southwest, which already flies from T. F. Green airport in Warwick, Rhode Island and Manchester-Boston Regional airport in Manchester, New Hampshire.

At Boston Logan, Southwest Airlines will have about 40 full-time employees and operate from two gates in Terminal E: E1A and E1B.

When Southwest arrives at Logan, the carrier will face competition from a slew of low-fare operators and US majors as Boston is a focus city for New York JFK-hubbed JetBlue Airways. American Airlines also has a major presence at the airport, and in February Virgin America launched flights from Boston to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

While no airline links Boston and Midway, American, JetBlue and Chicago-based United Airlines fly to nearby Chicago O'Hare International airport.

On Baltimore/Washington, Southwest will compete with AirTran Airways and Comair, which operates the route on behalf of Delta Air Lines.

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