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.