Southwest Airlines just announced 5 new routes to new destinations on the West Coast from across the US - here's the full list

Thomas Pallini
·4 min read
Southwest Airlines Boeing 737
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700. AaronP:Bauer Griffin/GC Images/Getty
  • Southwest Airlines is growing its West Coast route network with five new routes to two new cities.

  • The Californian cities of Santa Barbara and Fresno are the focus of this expansion.

  • The expansion continues a rivalry between Southwest and Alaska Airlines for domination in the region.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Southwest Airlines is moving into two new Californian cities this April and just announced five new routes as a housewarming gift.

Santa Barbara and Fresno will become the 12th and 13th cities in California served by Southwest once service begins later this year, ramping up a rivalry between America's largest low-cost carrier and Alaska Airlines. Both are striving to become the unofficial airline of the West Coast with an ever-growing presence in California, Oregon, and Washington from San Diego to Seattle.

In California, Alaska currently outnumbers Southwest in cities served by 15 to 11. Come April, however, that gap will narrow by two cities with the addition of Santa Barbara and Fresno.

Each airline has its own strengths that will help draw customers. Southwest can offer its fleet of mainline Boeing 737 aircraft and no shortage of connecting opportunities to cities to the east, while Alaska has a growing network of international partners that now includes Qatar Airways and is preparing to join the Oneworld airline alliance.

Read more: Boeing may have to shell out billions to airlines after regulators erased one of the 737 Max's key selling points

The pandemic has forced Southwest to reexamine its route map and add new smaller cities including Sarasota, Florida, Jackson; Mississippi; and Colorado Springs, Colorado, to name just a few. And while traditionally avoiding them, Southwest is also moving into major international airports like Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and Miami International Airport.

Here's where Southwest will be flying come April.

Between Santa Barbara, California and Denver

Denver Colorado
Denver, Colorado. EdgeOfReason/Shutterstock

Flights between Santa Barbara, California and Denver begin on April 12 with one daily flight in each direction. The initial flight schedule shows a morning departure from Denver to Santa Barbara with a return flight in the afternoon after just 35 minutes on the ground.

United Airlines will be Southwest's sole competition on the route, also connecting Santa Barbarans to the world via its hub in Denver.

Between Santa Barbara, California and Las Vegas

las vegas nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada. randy andy/Shutterstock

Flights between Santa Barbara and Las Vegas begin on April 12 with three daily flights in each direction. The initial flight schedule shows a morning, afternoon, and evening flight from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara while the opposite direction will feature two morning flights and an evening flight.

No other airline currently serves this route, leaving Southwest as the sole operator.

Between Santa Barbara, California and Oakland, California

oakland
Oakland, California. Shutterstock

Intra-Californian flights between Santa Barbara and Oakland begin on April 12 with one daily flight in each direction. The initial flight schedule shows a morning flight from Oakland to Santa Barbara that returns in the afternoon after a quick 35 minutes on the ground.

While a gateway airport to the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, Oakland also serves as a jumping-off point for Southwest's flights to Hawaii. Non-stop flights are available on Southwest to the cities of Honolulu, Lihue, Kona, and Kahului.

No other airline currently serves this route, leaving Southwest as the sole operator.

Between Fresno, California and Denver

denver colorado
Denver, Colorado. Shutterstock

Flights between Fresno, California and Denver begin on April 25 with one daily flight in each direction. The initial flight schedule shows a morning flight from Denver to Fresno that returns in the afternoon after a quick 40 minutes on the ground.

United Airlines and Frontier Airlines also serve the route, giving Southwest some healthy competition.

Between Fresno, California and Las Vegas

Las Vegas Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada. somchaij/Shutterstock

Flights between Fresno, California and Las Vegas begin on April 25 with three daily flights in each direction. Similar to the Santa Barbara flights, the initial flight schedule shows a morning, afternoon, and evening flight from Las Vegas to Fresno while the opposite direction will feature two morning flights and an evening flight.

Allegiant Air also serves this route with up to two daily flights.

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