Southwest Airlines to begin Minneapolis-St. Paul service in 2009

Deaf Mortgage

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2007
Messages
909
Reaction score
0
Southwest Airlines to begin Minneapolis-St. Paul service in 2009

DALLAS — Southwest Airlines Co. plans to begin service next March to Minneapolis, its first new city in more than a year, even as the airline faces a "very significant risk of slowing demand" due to an economic slowdown, Chief Executive Gary Kelly said Wednesday.

The Minneapolis service will initially be limited to flights to and from Chicago.

Minneapolis suburb Eagan, Minn., is the home of Northwest Airlines Corp., which is being acquired by Delta Air Lines Inc. Some experts say the combined airline will probably reduce flights at Minneapolis, but Kelly said the Delta-Northwest deal was not a consideration.

Other U.S. carriers have raised fares and sharply cut flights this fall, creating "tremendous opportunities for Southwest Airlines to expand," Kelly said.

TODAY IN THE SKY: Continuing coverage of Southwest Airlines

Southwest serves more than 60 U.S. cities but has curtailed growth in recent years. Its last new city was San Francisco, in August 2007.

The addition of Minneapolis for Southwest comes as airlines face high fuel prices and concern about a weakening economy. Kelly said he cannot tell yet but suspects that economic weakness — and higher fares — are hurting travel demand. He said bookings are still healthy but planes will probably be slightly less full this fall than a year ago.

The airline's chief financial officer said Southwest has "very limited financing needs" and little immediate exposure to the turmoil in the financial markets.

Laura Wright said Southwest, which enters fuel-hedging transactions with financial-services firms as counterparties, has no exposure to bankrupt Lehman Brothers and only a small amount to brokerages that don't have a commercial banking side.

Wright said Southwest, which reported about $5.8 billion in cash and short-term investments on June 30, has enough cash set aside to cover about 85% of its fuel-hedging positions.

Separately, Southwest said Wednesday it would set aside priority security lanes for business-fare customers and frequent fliers at seven airports beginning next month. It's similar to an announcement two weeks ago by American Airlines, which will add priority security screening and boarding for top customers.

Long considered an airline catering to leisure travelers, Southwest has been making a push for business travelers. Customers who buy more expensive "business select" tickets will qualify for the faster "fly by" security screening.

Southwest, the only major U.S. airline to remain profitable this year because of those hedges, which reduce the price it pays for fuel, has slowed growth and deferred aircraft it planned to add in 2009, from 14 down to 10 Boeing 737s.

The Dallas-based carrier has bought 26 new jets this year and has three more deliveries scheduled before year-end, but Wright said the strike at supplier Boeing Co. has put those deliveries in doubt.

Wright, speaking during a company meeting with reporters, said Southwest also has an unused $600 million line of credit and believes it could tap European bank credit markets, as it did this spring.

Southwest debt is rated "A-minus," still investment-grade, by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings, and "Baa1" by Moody's.

The company has hedged against 80% of its fuel needs for the fourth quarter at an average price equivalent to $58 per barrel fuel, and is more than 70% hedged next year at $66 per barrel, Wright said.

Southwest boasts in advertising that it foregoes the fees that other airlines charge, but it too is looking for new sources of revenue. The airline will soon begin testing Internet access in flight, and plans to charge for it. It is boosting sales of alcohol by accepting credit cards instead of cash.

The company reports third-quarter results on Oct. 16.

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. fell 31 cents, or 2.1%, to close at $14.20. Other airline stocks rose. Those carriers are not as well insulated from fuel prices, so Wednesday's decline in oil prices offered them more support.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Southwest Airlines to begin Minneapolis-St. Paul service in 2009 - USATODAY.com
 

Deaf Mortgage

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2007
Messages
909
Reaction score
0
Its about time!!!! Now cheaper airfare in sight!!!!

I am anti-NWA in Minneapolis for outrageous airline fares.
 

Brian

New Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2003
Messages
4,747
Reaction score
1
So, you are glad that NWA is about to disappear soon, Deaf Mortgage?
 

Foxrac

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
44,483
Reaction score
448
Oh interesting, I'm not really familiar with Southwest Airlines.

I usually goes with AA (American Airlines) and UA (United Airlines).
 

Deaf Mortgage

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2007
Messages
909
Reaction score
0
So, you are glad that NWA is about to disappear soon, Deaf Mortgage?

They will not disappear... they monopolized Minneapolis airport for many years. Many airlines tried to enter the airport but failed due to NWA headquarter. But merge with Delta gave window of opportunity for Southwest to enter the market of Minnesota. Now I can actually fly for cheaper fares. Target airport I want to fly to is BWI for many of my families lives there.

If you check the pricing to fly out of Minneapolis, you will find airfare worth $200 more than other cities. True story, I have to drive to Milwaukee and fly out to save $600 worth of airfare for my wife and I. And the same flight will fly connection in Minneapolis from Milwaukee... is that odd?
 

Deaf Mortgage

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2007
Messages
909
Reaction score
0
Oh interesting, I'm not really familiar with Southwest Airlines.

I usually goes with AA (American Airlines) and UA (United Airlines).

Most airline will start charging for each bag you fly with. Southwest is one of few airline will never charge for the two bags limit. Nice? That what their commercial emphasize. I see it all the time in Minnesota and they dont have southwest in Minnesota. Just finally confirmed yesterday that they are entering March 2009. Yay!

check out the services of Southwest. Its awesome!
 

Foxrac

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
44,483
Reaction score
448
Most airline will start charging for each bag you fly with. Southwest is one of few airline will never charge for the two bags limit. Nice? That what their commercial emphasize. I see it all the time in Minnesota and they dont have southwest in Minnesota. Just finally confirmed yesterday that they are entering March 2009. Yay!

check out the services of Southwest. Its awesome!

I'm really not care about charge on checked bag, AA charge $15 on checked baggage but free on 1st carry-on baggage, not big deal.

AA support GLBT, that what important to me about any companies support GLBT.
 

PowerON

Active Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
11,266
Reaction score
10
Southwest Airline is know as the only profitable in airline industry after 9/11. They hardly laid off anyone. Always great business, most satisfactory service and cheaper - only in order online in 15 to 21 days advance.
 

Deaf Mortgage

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2007
Messages
909
Reaction score
0
Southwest Airline is know as the only profitable in airline industry after 9/11. They hardly laid off anyone. Always great business, most satisfactory service and cheaper - only in order online in 15 to 21 days advance.

Another good reason to stay and root for Soutwest Airline! I always order my plane ticket 2 months in advance.
 

pek1

New Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2005
Messages
3,991
Reaction score
0
They will not disappear... they monopolized Minneapolis airport for many years. Many airlines tried to enter the airport but failed due to NWA headquarter. But merge with Delta gave window of opportunity for Southwest to enter the market of Minnesota. Now I can actually fly for cheaper fares. Target airport I want to fly to is BWI for many of my families lives there.

If you check the pricing to fly out of Minneapolis, you will find airfare worth $200 more than other cities. True story, I have to drive to Milwaukee and fly out to save $600 worth of airfare for my wife and I. And the same flight will fly connection in Minneapolis from Milwaukee... is that odd?

And do you know why they did, DM? If a company is headquartered at a location, wouldn't it make sense for them to have the most amount of gates?

By the way, NWA paid my dad's salary for years. If you have something to gripe about, let's have it. Is it possible that you haven't been able to get hired on at the company, so you make a thread here in defense of your thoughts? Just wondering . . .
 

Byrdie714

New Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Messages
8,889
Reaction score
0
And do you know why they did, DM? If a company is headquartered at a location, wouldn't it make sense for them to have the most amount of gates?

By the way, NWA paid my dad's salary for years. If you have something to gripe about, let's have it. Is it possible that you haven't been able to get hired on at the company, so you make a thread here in defense of your thoughts? Just wondering . . .

Highly unlikely.

It just sounds to me that he is happy to be able to have more choices in what airlines that he can choose to use.
 

pek1

New Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2005
Messages
3,991
Reaction score
0
Highly unlikely.

It just sounds to me that he is happy to be able to have more choices in what airlines that he can choose to use.

Well, there's always Greyhound and Amtrac. Perhaps he could find happiness there. :naughty:
 

Deaf Mortgage

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2007
Messages
909
Reaction score
0
Highly unlikely.

It just sounds to me that he is happy to be able to have more choices in what airlines that he can choose to use.

Right... more choices. Look at Atalanta... they have Airtran headquarter and Delta Headquarter. Its fair market there.

Minneapolis airport, you dont see much choices. Less but high fares.

Recently Sun County, 2nd largest airline in Minnesota declared bankrputcy chpt 13. They will bounce back but did talk about Southwest share some terminals.
 

IslandBreeze07

New Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
450
Reaction score
0
I LOVE Southwest Airlines. Great for families, fares and routes that I use. I used to fly AA but their fares are too high for the distances covered. Haven't had any problems with SWA in many years, even with two kids. Kudos to SWA for running a good business, esp. with the hedges. Hope they win that again against rivals when the time comes.
 
Top