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Branson Airport Loses Southwest Flights

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The Southwest flights to Orlando, Houston and I believe Chicago, gone, gone, gone.

 

I think folks still don't know about the flights out of there. Poor marketing IMO.

 

The knock on the Orlando flights was it was just on Sat. so it had to be a weeklong trip.

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I can see Southwest moving to XNA. Someone had told me they already did, but I haven't seen anything official.

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There hasn't been anything official about XNA.  Just rumors at this point.

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Candidly, I'm surprised they're not here already.  I can't tell you how many business people I know in NWA who have to drive to Tulsa to catch cheaper flights.  New Airport.  Growing economy.  Seems like a no-brainer to me, but I guess they know more about the situation than I do.

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Something will no doubt change with the US Airways/American merger in regards to Ft Smith and XNA as well.

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About three months ago they announced that passenger traffic in Branson had picked up 21% from the previous year. Here's a case in point in the poor marketing of the Southwest Flights out of Branson's privately owned airport. I had a co worker that flew to Houston before the winter storm last week to visit his kids. He flew out of Ft. Smith.  Well, he got delayed on his way back due to the weather and finally got back yesterday just from the lack of options to get back. I asked him, why didn't you fly Southwest out of Branson to Houston without any layovers. He didn't know. I suspect if you asked someone that flew in the past year that question, they wouldn't know either. Frontier added flights from there this year. The deal with the Branson airport is that since it's privately owned(but it gets subsidies from the local gov) they contract out destinations. Southwest had the Orlando flight to itself without threat of competition but the price when booked in advance was reasonable. The hitch was it was a Sat only flight limiting you to seven day/6 night stays. I get the Jackson Ms. flights since Southwest is servicing Memphis now, if they expand their gates at Memphis with Delta nearly abandoning it, Wonder what that does for Little Rock, some flew out of Nashville as well. Memphis is like NWA when it comes to fares. Jackson MS had about 70,000 more emplanements than XNA in 2012 with Southwest there. XNA is just outside of the top 100.

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Kind of surprised this wasn't posted already, but yesterday there was a huge story in the northwest Arkansas papers on NWA hitting the 500,000 mark soon.  One thing that was mentioned was that the XNA airport director thinks hitting half a million is going to help in landing a low cost airline. (Don't shoot me, I'm only the messenger).

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