SYRACUSE — Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) was scheduled to launch nonstop flights from Syracuse to Orlando, Florida on Saturday, Nov. 20, nearly a week after the airline started air service at Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR).
Southwest’s Syracuse service started Nov. 14 with the arrival of a Southwest flight from Baltimore.
Based in Dallas, Southwest describes itself as the world’s largest low-cost carrier.
As an incentive for offering air service to Syracuse, Southwest Airlines received marketing and operational credits under the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA) Air Service Development incentive program, an SRAA spokesperson tells CNYBJ. The airport authority offered $150,000 in marketing support, terminal advertising, and operational credits for up to two years.
The Baltimore and Orlando routes increase to 27 the number of nonstop destinations available to Syracuse travelers. Southwest is offering three flights a day to Baltimore, while its Orlando route will operate once weekly, flown each Saturday.
The SRAA and Southwest held a welcoming event for the Nov. 14 flight that arrived from Baltimore.
“This has been a long time coming. There’s been a lot of work that has gone into making today happen,” Jason Terreri, executive director of Syracuse Hancock International Airport, said in his remarks at the event.
He also recognized the staff of the SRAA and the personnel from Southwest Airlines who have been at Hancock preparing for the start of service.
In his remarks at the Nov. 14 event, Kevin Schwab, senior aviation industry advisor at CenterState CEO, said Southwest represents a new way to draw people to the region.
“Whether it’s to spend time in Armory Square or up on the SU hill taking in a game … whether it’s about going to Finger Lakes wineries, [or] the Adirondack Mountains. We’ve got so much to offer and Southwest is going to be a great new way to bring people here to this region,” Schwab said.
He also noted that in representing the businesses of the region, Southwest Airlines “has been one of the most asked for airlines that we can imagine.”
Southwest air service to Baltimore provides new nonstop access to Baltimore/Washington and additional service to more than four dozen cities beyond with same-plane and connecting service, SRAA said. Additional nonstop service to and from Orlando boosts existing service from Syracuse to Central Florida.