After a difficult holiday season of travel delays and cancellations, Southwest Airlines has announced new service from the Pittsburgh market as the carrier looks to restore capacity and capitalize on growing demand.
The airline announced new flights Thursday that will bring the number of weekday departures from Pittsburgh International Airport to 27 by this fall—a 17 percent uptick from 2022—including the most daily departures the carrier has ever had in the month of September.
In its latest schedule extension, Southwest announced it will increase service to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport from once weekly to daily, beginning Sept. 5, restoring capacity to one of PIT’s most popular West Coast markets. The carrier previously ran the route on a Saturday-only basis.
The carrier also announced it will resume nonstop service between PIT and Austin, Texas, on Sundays starting Sept. 10. That route will also upgrade from seasonal to year-round.
That is the most service Southwest has ever offered on that route since it launched seasonal service in November 2021, with flights operating on select days during the peak holiday travel period.
Southwest is not the only airline stepping up its service to the Sun Belt. Ultra-low cost carrier Allegiant Air announced it will resume its seasonal, twice-weekly service to Austin on May 19. And American Airlines already flies daily from Pittsburgh to Phoenix.
In December, Southwest announced it will increase service on four routes, all starting July 11:
- Atlanta increases from daily to twice daily
- Denver increases from daily to three times daily
- Houston-Hobby from once weekly to six times a week
- Myrtle Beach, S.C., from weekend-only to daily
Southwest will increase frequency to Houston after it resumed the route in November, adding additional flight options for travelers heading to the Space City.
The carrier also will offer the most flights it has ever operated to Denver from PIT, highlighting the popularity of Rocky Mountain and West Coast destinations among Pittsburghers.
Southwest launched seasonal service to Myrtle Beach in May 2021 to capitalize on strong demand for leisure travel. Southwest is one of three airlines that flies nonstop to Myrtle Beach on a seasonal basis, including Allegiant (resumes April 1) and Spirit (resumes April 12).
Since launching Pittsburgh in 2005 after the closure of the US Airways hub, Southwest has grown its destination count to 18 cities served nonstop. As of November, Southwest is the largest airline at PIT by market share, carrying 25.4 percent of total passengers at the airport that month.
Southwest will increase service from PIT to Houston-Hobby to six times a week beginning July 11 and upgrade its Austin flights to year-round starting September 10. (Photo by Evan Dougherty)