Southwest Airlines takes over operations at Branson Airport
Southwest Airlines has announced it will begin serving greater Branson, Missouri area through the Branson Airport beginning in 2012. Already serving Branson through it’s subsidary airline AirTran Airlines, Southwest will gradually transition all of its AirTran planes to the Southwest route map by the end of 2012. The move will offer customers of the Branson Airport access to many of the low budget destinations serviced by Southwest Airlines.
Southwest completed its purchase of AirTran Airlines in 2011, and has now announced the complete integration to Southwest Airlines in 22 of its domestic and international airports. By the end of 2012, 53 of the 69 cities AirTran served when purchased by Southwest will be be fully converted to Southwest service in terms of employees, planes, and routes. In addition AirTran will begin serving Mexico City and Cabo San Lucas during the summer of 2012, with those services planned to transition to Southwest over time as well.
While there are additions to Southwest routes, including those to and from Branson Airport, Southwest has also cut AirTran service to several areas, including Allentown and Harrisburg, PA, Lexington, KY, Huntsville, AL, White Plains, NY, and Sarasota, FL. Service in those areas will continue until August 11, 2012. In conjunction with that move, on August 12, 2012, Southwest will make Seattle-Tacoma International Airport the first fully converted AirTran and Southwest airport to serve the public solely under the Southwest Airlines umbrella, offering 41 daily flights across the United States. Previously AirTran had one daily flight from Seattle to Milwaukee and seasonal flights offered to Atlanta and Baltimore/Washington.
In serving the Branson Airport, Southwest Airlines is not only giving Branson customers access to all of its low-budget destinations, but providing tourists from around the United States direct access to the thriving destination area of Branson.Known as the “Live Music Show Capital of the World”, Branson has quickly become a vacation hot spot for families in the Midwest. Set in the lakeside foothills of the Ozark mountains, the area offers over 50 live theaters, 12 elite golf courses, a world-class water park, and recreation on three different lakes. Several museums and other attractions also dot the landscape of Branson, including the Titanic Museum Attraction.
Opened in 2009, Branson Airport is currently serviced by Frontier Airlines and Branson Air Express in addition to Southwest/AirTran Airlines. It is the only privately developed and operated airport in the United States offering commercial airline service. Thousand Hills Resort has been providing Branson condos and cabins for travelers for nearly 20 years. Travel lodging reservations can be made online at www.thousandhills.com.
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