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Southwest Airlines (LUV) to Begin New Services This Autumn

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In a bid to expand its global footprint, Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV - Free Report) has announced several non-stop flights connecting important cities of the United States. The services are expected to begin this autumn. The carrier’s move is a prudent one as it tries to attract traffic in the locations, which in turn would boost passenger revenues, thus aiding its top line.

The airline will add a daily non-stop flight connecting Houston with Columbus, OH and Louisville, KY and Denver with Memphis, TN. The services will commence from Oct 3 onward. Additionally, the airline will initiate a non-stop seasonal service between Albany, NY and Las Vegas from around the same time. Flights will operate from Sunday to Friday.

Further, the low-cost carrier has decided to increase frequency of services from Phoenix to some of the popular destinations beginning Oct 3. Services between Phoenix and Austin, TX will be raised from four to five roundtrips while that between the city and Denver will be increased to 11 from 10.

Flights connecting Phoenix with New Orleans are now expected to be operated on two roundtrips from an earlier single whereas the service between Phoenix and San Antonio will be increased to four from the initial three roundtrips. Additionally, the service between Phoenix and San Jose, CA will be expanded to seven roundtrips from six previously.

The carrier will also start non-stop flights between Oklahoma City and Nashville, TN as well as between Denver and El Paso, TX. Flights will operate every Sunday from Oct 7 onward and the same day, the carrier will also introduce a service connecting Oakland, CA with Tucson, AZ. This too will be a weekly operation reserved for Sundays only.

Another weekly service will be effective Oct 6 onward, connecting Cleveland with Orlando, FL and Milwaukee with Fort Myers, FL. These flights will be run only on Saturdays.

The company has extended its ticket booking schedule through Nov 3. The carrier maintains projection for 2018 available seat miles at a rise in the low 5% range, year over year.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Southwest Airlines carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in the airline space include International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (ICAGY - Free Report) , Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL - Free Report) and United Continental Holdings, Inc. (UAL - Free Report) . While International Consolidated Airlines sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Delta Air Lines and United Continental Holdings carry a Zacks Rank of 2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Shares of International Consolidated Airlines and Delta Air Lines have rallied more than 25% and 18%, respectively in a year. While the United Continental stock has gained more than 16% in the last six months.

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