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Southwest to provide record number of flights in March

Updated September 8, 2022 - 5:48 pm

Southwest Airlines, the busiest commercial air carrier at Harry Reid International Airport, on Thursday announced its largest Las Vegas schedule in the airline’s history.

The Dallas-based airline released its newest schedule for flight bookings, through April 10, and listed up to 243 daily departures from Las Vegas beginning in March.

“We continue strengthening our network across North America with some of our largest schedules ever for our Denver and Las Vegas customers, and we’re thrilled to give everyone an ability to book now and plan their spring vacations early,” said Adam Decaire, vice president of network planning at Southwest.

Decaire told the Review-Journal that Southwest expects to continue to grow. More Boeing 737 jets are on order and should be available for further expansion next summer.

He said the company’s growth has only been held back because of a worker shortage. The airline is in the process of hiring more pilots, flight attendants and staff members.

The airline also is working with Reid International to be able to manage the additional baggage that will come with additional flights.

The carrier’s published schedule offers up to 243 daily departures in March, an increase of 12 flights from February 2023’s published schedule. The 243 daily flights beats its previous peak of 240 in 2009.

Southwest hopes to take advantage of the many college basketball championship tournaments staged in Southern Nevada in March, as well as the city being at the center of several national parks and recreation areas that begin to flourish at the beginning of spring.

While the new schedule offers no new nonstop destinations from Las Vegas, it does bulk up the number of frequencies on popular routes.

“The Las Vegas growth is fueled by returning seasonal routes, additional frequencies and a focus on short- and medium-haul routes that are business-traveler friendly,” said Southwest spokesman Dan Landson.

For Las Vegas, short- and medium-haul flights are those to and from California, Reno, Salt Lake City and Denver.

In July, Southwest flew 1.72 million passengers for the month, a 13.4 percent increase over July 2021.

At 243 daily flights, Las Vegas would be second only to Denver’s 270 departures as the busiest station Southwest serves.

Southwest currently has 230 daily flights to 66 destinations and occupies 21 gates at Reid International.

More than 3,700 people work for the airline in Las Vegas, which is the home of pilot and crew bases.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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