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Southwest announced it would end service to CAK in June

Tail Gunner Joe

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Southwest announced on Wednesday it would end service to CAK in June, at the same time it is ramping up its service in Cleveland.

The news to shutter its operation at Akron-Canton wasn't a complete surprise: Southwest has been downsizing at CAK in recent years, ever since the carrier merged with AirTran Airways, which had been the dominant airline at Akron-Canton.

Since last spring, Southwest has only flown to Atlanta from Akron-Canton.

"That was a signal that Akron's days were numbered," said Tom Reich, a consultant with AvPORTS, an airport management services company based outside Washington, D.C. "This is the final step in that closure."

On the same day the carrier announced it was closing its operation at Akron-Canton, it also said it was pulling out of Dayton International Airport and launching new service from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

According to Reich, Cincinnati is the largest airport in the U.S. currently not served by Southwest.

With these latest moves, Southwest is clearly making a play for more business travelers.

"They're focusing on large cities now, business markets," said Reich. "When you have a large airport and small airport up the road, flying to both doesn't seem to make sense."

Dan Landson, a spokesman for Southwest, said the airline was simply following the lead of its customers: "The trend you're seeing is based on travel patterns of our customers. We're constantly studying the needs of our customers and striving to match our service with their needs."

The Cleveland-to-Atlanta route is currently served by Delta and Spirit airlines. Southwest is the only carrier flying nonstop between CLE and St. Louis.

In addition to Atlanta and St. Louis, Southwest also flies from Cleveland to Baltimore, Chicago Midway, Denver, Nashville, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Full Article:http://www.cleveland.com/travel/index.ssf/2017/01/southwest_airlines_adds_flight_1.html
 

Tail Gunner Joe

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Southwest has figured out the profits are in the business traveler, not flying the yokels around rural Texas.
 
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