Southwest grows again: Airline adding two more cities, giving it a dozen new destinations

Despite announcing an unheard of 10 new destinations this year, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly last week teased that more were on the way.

Travelers didn’t have to wait long.

On Wednesday, Southwest said it will add flights to Santa Barbara and Fresno, California, next spring. The nation’s largest domestic airline is already a dominant player in California, and with the new cities, it will serve 13 airports there. The most recent addition: Palm Springs, in November.

“Our arrival in the heart of California, both on the Central Coast and in the Central Valley, will round out nearly four decades of investment in our California customers and communities,” Southwest Airlines Chief Commercial Officer & Executive Vice President Andrew Watterson said in a statement.

Southwest did not announce routes or start dates for the new cities beyond saying service will begin in the second quarter of 2021. The airline will have competition in Santa Barbara and Fresno, the extent of which won’t be known until it announces routes. Alaska, American, Delta and Frontier are among the airlines serving Santa Barbara Airport. At Fresno Yosemite International Airport, airlines include Allegiant, Frontier, Delta, American and United.

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