Southwest Airlines just announced 10 new routes and has a new shortest that's only 73 miles long — here's the full list

Thomas Pallini
·5 min read
Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines is growing with 10 new routes across the US. Chris Parypa Photography/shutterstock
  • Southwest Airlines is adding 10 new routes to its network in 2021 as aviation enters the first full year of its recovery. 

  • The route additions center around Southwest's two newest airports in Colorado and Illinois. 

  • Southwest will also have a new shortest route at just 73 miles long between two Colorado cities.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Airlines are declaring 2020 a wash and already looking to 2021 for new routes and destinations in what will be the first full year of aviation's long recovery.

Southwest Airlines is adding 10 new routes to leisure destinations across the US, with new airports in Colorado and Illinois as its the primary focus.

The expansion will add one new destination, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a new airport in an existing city, O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Routes to Colorado Springs will offer yet another gateway to the mountains, where travelers can socially distance in nature. All the routes will start just over a week before the beginning of spring. 

Starting service to O'Hare, however, is a major departure from Southwest's original low-cost business model. Southwest already has a major base in Chicago but at the smaller Midway International Airport, 15 miles to the southeast of the bustling international airport that United Airlines and American Airlines call home.

While Southwest has historically steered clear of major international airports largely because of the costs associated with using them, the pandemic is forcing the low-cost carrier to change it up.

Southwest reported losses of $1.2 billion in the third quarter thanks to the continued decline in traffic. CEO Gary Kelly also announced the airline would stop limiting capacity and blocking seats on December 1, a policy that cost $20 million in lost revenue for the quarter.

Here's where Southwest Airlines is flying in 2021.

Between Chicago and Baltimore

Baltimore
Baltimore. David Shvartsman/Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Chicago and Baltimore on February 14, with service four times daily from O'Hare International complementing existing service from Midway International. 

Three other airlines serve the route, with Southwest going up against American Airlines, United Airlines, and Spirit Airlines. 

Between Chicago and Nashville, Tennessee

nashville
Nashville, Tennessee. ohn Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Chicago and Nashville, Tennessee, on February 14, with service four times daily from O'Hare International Airport complementing existing service from Midway International Airport. 

Three other airlines serve the route, with Southwest going up against American Airlines, United Airlines, and Frontier Airlines.

Between Chicago and Denver

Denver Colorado skyline
Denver. Brad McGinley Photography / Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Chicago and Denver on February 14, with service six times daily from O'Hare complementing existing service from Midway. 

Four other airlines serve the route, with Southwest going up against American Airlines, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Frontier Airlines. 

Between Chicago and Phoenix

phoenix arizona quarantine air pollution
Phoenix. Ross D. Franklin/AP

Southwest will begin flying between Chicago and Phoenix on February 14, with twice-daily service from O'Hare complementing existing service from Midway. 

Four other airlines serve the route, with Southwest going up against American Airlines, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Frontier Airlines. 

Between Chicago and Dallas

Dallas Texas
Dallas. Nathanael Hovee / EyeEm/Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Chicago and Dallas on February 14, with service four times daily from O'Hare complementing existing service from Midway. The Chicago-Dallas route is one of the most lucrative air routes in the country, so much so that American Airlines often flew its wide-body aircraft on the route in pre-pandemic times. 

Four other airlines serve the route, with Southwest going up against American Airlines, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Frontier Airlines. Southwest will use Dallas Love Field Airport, however, while its competitors operate in the larger Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, further from downtown Dallas. 

Between Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Denver

Denver Colorado
Denver. Laser1987/Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Denver on March 11, with service four times daily. At only 63 nautical miles long (73 miles), the flight will be the shortest in the Southwest route network, taking the spot of the intra-Hawaiian Kahului-Kona route, according to route data from Cirium.

Only one other airline serves the route, with Southwest going up against United Airlines, which operates regional jets between the two cities, connecting Colorado Springs with the world through Denver. Much like United, Southwest is opening the route to feed flyers into its Denver route network that includes flights to both coasts and international destinations in Mexico. 

Between Colorado Springs and Las Vegas

Las Vegas
Las Vegas. Westend61/Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Colorado Springs and Las Vegas on March 11, with twice-daily service.

Only one other airline serves the route, with Southwest going up against Frontier Airlines, which operates five-times-weekly service between the two cities. 

Between Colorado Springs and Phoenix

Phoenix Arizona
Phoenix. miroslav_1/Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Colorado Springs and Phoenix on March 11, 2021, with twice-daily service.

Only one other airline currently serves the route with Southwest going up against Frontier Airlines, which operates five-times-weekly service between the two cities. 

Between Colorado Springs and Dallas

Dallas Texas
Dallas. Shutterstock.com

Southwest will begin flying between Colorado Springs and Dallas on March 11, with service three times daily.

Only one other airline serves the route, with Southwest going up against American Airlines, which operates daily service between the two cities. Southwest will use Dallas Love Field Airport, however, while its competitor operates into the larger Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, further from downtown Dallas.

Between Colorado Springs and Chicago

Chicago is known for its freezing winter temperatures.
Chicago. Joe Daniel Price/Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Colorado Springs and Chicago on March 11, with twice-daily service through Midway International Airport.

Two other airlines serve the route, with Southwest going up against American Airlines and United Airlines. Its competitors use O'Hare International Airport, however, further from downtown Chicago. 

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