Southwest Shows Chicago Some Love With Inaugural O’Hare Service
Daily nonstop flights to five U.S. cities start on Valentine’s Day
Southwest Airlines gave the City of Chicago and the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) a Valentine's Day gift this morning with the launch of the Dallas-based carrier's first-ever service at O'Hare International Airport.
“Southwest's decision to expand its operations to O'Hare underscores the strength of Chicago's aviation market and the key role the City will play in the recovery of an airline industry severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot said. “Investing in Chicago's airport infrastructure is central to our region's economic recovery and creation of good-paying jobs, making the ongoing implementation of O'Hare 21 projects and recent improvements at Midway more important than ever."
The new daily nonstop flights begin this morning, connecting passengers to Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Nashville and Phoenix. Southwest will also offer Saturday-only service to Orlando from O'Hare starting March 13, 2021.
“I'm proud to welcome Southwest as the newest member of the O'Hare airport community," CDA Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee said. “These new routes will reinforce O'Hare's world-class connectivity and offer Chicagoans and visitors a wide array of choices and opportunities when non-essential travel can safely resume, all while complementing Southwest's long-standing commitment to serve Chicago at Midway."
Southwest has offered extensive service at Midway since March 1985, bringing travel opportunities and economic growth to the City's communities. During peak seasons, the carrier offers 250 departures a day from Midway to 95 destinations, making Chicago the second-largest city in its system by capacity.
“Making it easier to fly Southwest for business or leisure, we're excited to bring more options to Chicago travelers, through a preferred airport for many of our existing customers in northern Chicagoland," said Dave Harvey, Vice President of Southwest Business. “These additional flights put the flexible policies and world-class hospitality our Midway Airport customers already enjoy, on the North Side and further the ease of flying Southwest without a longer commute."
The new service will utilize Boeing 737-700 aircraft with 143 seats each. Southwest will also employ 11 people for its ground operations at O'Hare. The inaugural flight is Southwest 382 from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), scheduled to arrive at O'Hare this morning before continuing on to Dallas Love Field.