Southwest proves popular at MSPby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Southwest Airlines is proving pretty popular with Minnesota travelers.
Early last month, Southwest started offering roundtrip flights between the Twin Cities and Chicago's Midway airport.
Southwest filled a hefty 80 percent of the seats on those flights in March. Overall, Southwest has been filling just 70 percent of seats on its planes system wide.
Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said the airline is very pleased with its debut at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
"We are ecstatic about the response we've seen from Minnesota travelers in the first month or so," Mainz said. "It's actually exceeded our expectations."
Southwest will add service between the Twin Cities and Denver next month. Mainz said Southwest would like to add more service in the Twin Cities, but no additional routes are certain at this time.
Still, the airline is eager to shift planes to routes where it can find more passengers to fill them up.
"We're pruning our flight schedule and reallocating aircraft from less profitable routes to markets where there is higher demand," Mainz said. "We're hopeful to be able to add service in Minnesota in the coming months. We can't promise it's coming, but we are hopeful."
Industry observers say additional destinations for Southwest from the Twin Cities could include Baltimore, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis or Kansas City.