Sep 4, 2017
Will Robinson, Reporter
Jacksonville Business Journal
Southwest Airlines Company (nyse: LUV) announced this week that it will offer three daily flights from Jacksonville to Ft. Lauderdale starting in April 2018.
The added route between two Florida cities stood out from the rest of Southwest's new routes, which all focused on California. Southwest's only other non-stop, daily routes added to a Florida city were routes from San Jose and Sacramento to Orlando.
"We're excited about Southwest's announcement because as they continue to grow in Fort Lauderdale, it means Northeast Florida travelers will have one easy connection point to destinations in Central America and the Caribbean," Greg Willis, marketing program manager for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, said by email.
Willis said the new flights will add approximately 2,000 weekly seats to the airport's flights, a 25 percent increase from their current service levels. The flights will add to the three daily flights to Fort Lauderdale currently offered by JetBlue.
Southwest expects the flights will be popular.
"We know this will be a key business and leisure route," Southwest spokesperson Dan Landson said by email. "Customers will be able to seamlessly connect to one of Southwest’s international flights from our new international gateway in Ft. Lauderdale."
Southwest currently offers nonstop flights from Jacksonville International Airport to Atlanta, Nashville, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Chicago and Dallas, according to Willis.