Southwest pushes on with Denver expansion

Image: Southwest, Denver Airport Bridge
In March Southwest had a modest 7% share of the domestic market compared with Frontier’s almost 27%. The newly-launched and five up-coming Southwest routes pitch it head-to-head with Frontier and United in almost every case.

This week saw Southwest launch six new routes from its Denver base generating an additional 15 daily departures. On five of these routes it faces competition from Frontier while United is an alternative on every route. On the Los Angeles route American and Delta will also be providing passengers with additional options.

Destination Southwest weekly frequency Frontier weekly frequency United weekly frequency Other competitors
Los Angeles (LAX) 35 48 65 AA (21), DL (20)
San Jose (SJC) 21 26 32  
St. Louis (STL) 21 21 34  
Philadelphia (PHL) 14 14 21 US (21)
Raleigh-Durham (RDU) 7   6  
San Antonio (SAT) 7 18 26  
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 12 May 08

This brings to 23 the number of destinations served by Southwest from Denver, compared with 61 for Frontier and 116 for United. According to the latest traffic statistic from the airport, passenger numbers in the first quarter of 2008 increased by 5.2%. In March Southwest handled around 300,000 passengers at Denver giving them a modest 7% share of the domestic market compared with Frontier’s almost 27% (including Lynx and Republic) and United, who still have 50% of the domestic market at the airport if their subsidiaries and partners Ted and United Express are included.

More new routes coming soon

Southwest’s development at Denver is still on-going and the airline has announced plans to add services to Indianapolis (twice daily from 4 June), Portland (also twice daily from 4 June), Sacramento (twice daily from 4 August), Fort Lauderdale (daily from 4 August) and New Orleans (daily from 4 August). United already serves all of these markets while Frontier operates all these route bar New Orleans.


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