The US airline Southwest Airlines Co. reported on Monday that it maintains its commitment to non-stop services.
Historically, Southwest Airlines has provided mostly point-to-point services, rather than the “hub-and-speak” service provided by most major US airlines.
The hub-and-radio system concentrates the majority of an airline’s operations in a limited number of central cities and serves most of the other destinations in the system by providing a connecting service or a stop through a hub.
By not concentrating operations through one or more central transfer points, Southwest Airlines’ point-to-point route structure has allowed more direct routing than hub-and-radio service.
However, in response to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company relied more in 2020 on connecting traffic in an effort to capture customer demand.
Approximately 72% of the company‘s customers flew nonstop during 2020, compared to 77% in 2019.
As of December 31, 2020, Southwest Airlines served 667 city pairs nonstop, compared to 720 as of December 31, 2019.
For 2020, Southwest Airlines’ average air travel leg length was 743 miles, with an average duration of approximately 2.0 hours, compared to the average air travel leg length of 748 miles and 2.0 hours. hours in 2019.
Southwest’s point-to-point service has also enabled it to offer its markets frequent, conveniently scheduled flights and low fares.
For example, Southwest Airlines currently offers eight weekday roundtrips between Dallas Love Field and Houston Hobby, five weekday roundtrips between Denver and Chicago Midway, four weekday roundtrips between Los Angeles International, and Las Vegas, and eight weekday round trips between Phoenix and Denver.
Southwest complements its high-frequency short-haul routes with nonstop long-haul service that includes flights between California and Hawaii and between markets such as Los Angeles and Nashville, Los Angeles and Baltimore, and San Diego and Baltimore.
Southwest Airlines is a major passenger airline that offers scheduled air travel in the United States and international markets.
Southwest began service on June 18, 1971, with three Boeing 737 aircraft serving three Texas cities: Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.
As of December 31, 2020, Southwest had a total of 718 Boeing 737 aircraft in its fleet and 107 destinations in 40 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and 10 countries: Mexico, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Aruba, Republic Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos.
During 2020, the Company began serving six new destinations, including Hilo in Hawaii; Cozumel, Mexico; Steamboat Springs, Colorado; Miami Florida; Palm Springs, California; and Montrose (Telluride and Crested Butte), Colorado.