Friday, December 6, 2013

Southwest gone

Southwest Airlines announced yesterday it is pulling out of the Jackson market:

The airline will no longer fly in or out of Jackson after June 7 joining Branson, Mo., and Key West, Fla., in losing the airline.

“We were on notice that this could happen,” said Dirk Vanderleest, CEO of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority. Annual passenger counts had plunged from a peak of 481,000 in 2006 to 331,000 last year, Vanderleest said.

That decline in passengers coincided with a drop in daily flights, from nine in 1997 to four currently. Those scenarios eliminated Jackson as a profitable market. “It hasn’t been for several years,” Vanderleest said. “It’s economics. Any airline has to make money.”

Southwest merged with AirTran in 2011, starting services in cities that were previously served by AirTran, but in many cases not by Southwest. Entering those new markets, Vanderleest said, made markets like Jackson expendable. “We knew it would be an uphill battle keeping Southwest after the merger.”...

Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins validated Vanderleest’s assertions.

“All these markets were closed for performance-based reasons,” Hawkins said. Southwest’s 37 employees in Jackson will have the opportunity to move within the company, he said.

“If you’re asking me to zero in on one thing, it would be size, with Jackson only having four flights,” Hawkins said. Orlando and Chicago have one each; two flights go to Houston....Rest of article

This is a big blow to the Jackson area. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what will happen to fares in a year. Oh well, I do like going to New Orleans. One more reason to do so.


PittPanther said...

This is bad. Real bad.

I am hoping this is purely a Southwest issue. Airlines often do things in lockstep with each other. My concern is that none of the airlines make money flying to Jackson, so Southwest becomes just the first to pull out. Southwest leaving becomes the "excuse" that the other airlines were waiting for, so they can leave also.

No big business will locate in an area where they can't easily get anywhere by air, or they are served by only one carrier with all flights going only to Dallas. Think Shreveport...

Anonymous said...

Huge,set back. Since the Jackson Metro chamber claimed they got SW here , will they take the blame for them leaving??

Anonymous said...

I hate to see this. Before Southwest I paid $600.00 to fly to Houston on Delta. Southwest was $200.00 regular price and as low as $80.00 on special. Now the remaining airlines will go back to sticking it to everyone. As bad as I hate to do it, I will probably drive to New Orleans to fly Southwest if the remaining Jackson carriers jack up the prices.

Anonymous said...

If you read the Clarion article, it seems like Southwest wanted a hand-out from either the city or state (or both) to stay.

Anonymous said...

Did the Board change of personell have something to do with it?

Anonymous said...

It is easy to drive to most anywhere in the Kush.

Anonymous said...

but we're now getting megabus--that will connect to new orleans and memphis--so we don't have to drive to the airports ourselves...

Kingfish said...

Chamber worked its butt off to keep SW here. Saw some of them last night and needless to say, they were not happy at all.

PittPanther said...

MegaBus schedules (from their website):
Jackson to Memphis - 4 hrs 50 mins
Jackson to New Orleans - 3 hrs 20 mins

FAIL! Only retirees have this much time to waste on a bus. Those of us who WORK for a living and travel for clients, this is not feasible.

mbrookes said...

Take the train to NO or Memphis. That way you don't have to fool with parking a car somewhere. The train is way more pleasant than a bus (think get up and walk around and a bar.)

Anonymous said...

Is there somewhere we can fight this? I depend on SWA to get out of this place as much as possible. I do love it here but love getting away on weekends.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the obscene salary paid to Duane O'Neill is paying dividends. So much for the results oriented apologia used by so many to justify his overpaid status.

bill said...

2:23, I'm not sure fight is a good word. Fighting is what you do with an enemy, and why would Southwest - or anyone else - choose to continue to operate for the benefit of their enemies? They have the right to close their Jackson operation if they want, and the only thing that will change that is if it becomes too profitable for them to close. Not sure that can happen with the cutbacks in their schedule, and it may be too late for everyone to start flying every week. Pressure on government to give them tax breaks and infrastructure improvement - the same things we try to do to recruit business to the area - might help, but we need to hurry.

Anonymous said...

Sure seems like every time I've flown SW out of here over the last 2 years, the flight have been booked to capacity.....I'm thinking their decision must have been based on something other than "profitability."

Anonymous said...

This looks like opportunity for Frontier to pick up some gates and routes at a new airport for them. I've already driven to NOLA to take advantage of their cheap fares and would love to have them here.

Southwest stopped being a low cost airline when their ten-year fuel contract ran out and they had to start paying the same market rates as the big boys.

Anonymous said...

This is really more than a Metro C of C issue. This impacts almost the whole state. MEC, our congressional delegation, state elected officials and surrounding municipalities need to work together to keep SW in town. When it comes to economic development one of the key components is accesssibility to the state.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Phil can issue an executive order . . .

Merle Haggard's Silver Wings said...

The question now becomes 'Who knew what and when did they know it?'

Is the Metro C of C the only organization that had knowledge of advance plans to consider this closure?

Who and what organizations had an opportunity at the table to counter Southwest's thoughts of closure?

Was the governor aware?

Did hotel and restaurant associations have any warning?

Did the mayor of Jackson know and if he did, did he care?

Were our congressional delegation members involved in discussions?

Were there, in fact, ANY discussions?

It's always way too late to beg for decision changes after decisions are made and announced.

Anonymous said...

Is this really any different from hundreds of other employers pulling up stakes and leaving Mississippi over the past twenty-five years. People with money make business decisions that are in their best interest, without regard to who might be disquieted in the community.

Anonymous said...

How come Leland Speed and Ben Allen didn't suit-up and save the day?

Anonymous said...

I thought Jackson was irrelevant. How can an airport owned by City of Jackson have such a negative impact on the white Utopias?

Baffled in Bentonia said...

Were you trying to make sense 4:37? Please try again.

Anonymous said...

Just heard that Southwest employees are telling flyers that Southwest wanted landing fees reduced and the mayor said no. They said that any other city would have agreed.

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya


Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS