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Southwest (LUV) to Expand Austin & Hawaii Services in 2022

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Southwest Airlines (LUV - Free Report) is expanding its network to offer customers additional services to Hawaii, nearly two dozen new flights to Austin, TX, as well as new international services. The airline has extended its bookable flight schedule through Apr 24, 2022. With air-travel demand rebounding, the services are expected to attract substantial traffic, which in turn should boost the airline’s top line.

Austin Service Expansion

Starting Mar 10, 2022, Southwest will initiate daily nonstop services between Austin and Amarillo, TX; Charleston, SC; Columbus, OH; Midland/Odessa, TX and Ontario, CA. The carrier plans to operate the Austin-Columbus service during the peak holiday travel period in 2021 as well.

Subject to government approval, the airline plans to begin a service connecting Austin and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Mar 12, 2022 onward. The Dallas, TX-based carrier also plans to resume its seasonal weekly flights from Austin to Panama City Beach, FL; Sarasota/Bradenton and Destin/Fort Walton Beach from Mar 12, 2022 onward. Following the commencement of the abovementioned services, the airline will offer nonstop services to a total of 46 destinations from Austin.

Hawaii Service Expansion

Southwest is expanding its Hawaii service offerings by increasing frequencies on the existing routes. Effective Feb 17, 2022, the carrier will operate two daily flights between Phoenix, AZ and Honolulu, one daily flight between San Diego, CA and Kona; four weekly flights between Sacramento, CA and Kona; one daily flight between San Jose, CA and Lihue; two daily flights between San Diego and Maui; as well as daily flights connecting Sacramento with Maui.

International Service Expansion

Southwest intends to begin a new nonstop service connecting Burbank, CA with Albuquerque, NM, starting Jan 17, 2022. The airline also plans to resume its seasonal daily nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale, FL and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, effective Feb 17, 2022. Subject to government approval, the low-cost carrier plans to introduce a seasonal nonstop service to connect Denver, CO with Cozumel, Mexico.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Southwest carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the airline space are Copa Holdings (CPA - Free Report) , Corporacion America Airports (CAAP - Free Report) and SkyWest (SKYW - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Shares of Copa Holdings, Corporacion America Airports and SkyWest have rallied more than 43%, 100% and 50% in a year’s time, respectively.