Can Southwest replace what United is leaving behind? - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Can Southwest replace what United is leaving behind?

Southwest Airlines terminal at Hopkins Airport Southwest Airlines terminal at Hopkins Airport
BEREA, OH (WOIO) -

Could Southwest Airlines be looking to expand in Cleveland?

Monday the airline released a statement about Southwest's future at Hopkins.

"Earlier this month we learned United was cutting its daily flights here at Hopkins in HALF -- now with Southwest's hint at expansion here, Southwest passengers could be seeing four times the options for flights here at Hopkins."

That's what happened in the nineties in Nashville, Southwest raised daily flights from 18-to-80 after American Airlines reduced flights.

Now Southwest Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Kelly is saying they are paying close attention to Cleveland on the heels of United's scale back. Performance is right on target here, which means they are always looking to future expansion.

"I say go for it! Good. More flights into and out of Cleveland. Cleveland is an important place..hard to get into and out of," said a local flyer.

In St. Louis Southwest beefed up flights and became the largest carrier there when American Airlines scaled back after acquiring Trans World Airlines.

"I could see that as a very positive thing especially if it brought work to Cleveland as well," added another local flyer.

And one more thing, Southwest is the only major airline not restructured in bankruptcy and plans to start international service this year as well.

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