Southwest Airlines To Increase Kansas City Flights In Spring 2023

Southwest has announced that it will open seven new routes to Kansas City and reopen two others next spring.

Southwest Airlines has announced that it will open several routes to Kansas City International Airport (MCI) next spring. The new routes will be added after the airport finishes constructing an additional terminal. The airport has seen significant recovery since the pandemic. Airline and airport officials predict that the new terminal and additional routes will increase both capacity and demand for air travel at the airport.

Spring route additions

Come April 2023; Southwest will add a route connecting Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with MCI, Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) with MCI, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) with MCI, and San Diego International Airport (SAN) with MCI. Later next year, in June, the airline will add routes between MCI and Pensacola International Airport (PNS), Orlando International Airport (MCO), and Las Vegas’s Harry Reid International Airport (LAS).


These seven additional routes will significantly expand the air transit services offered at MCI. However, two other routes have captured the attention of the local public more than these seven southern routes. These routes include an MCI to Indianapolis International Airport (IND) route and an Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) to MCI route. These two routes have received extra attention because they were both previously operated by Southwest before the pandemic.

When the pandemic travel restrictions began, the airline closed these two routes until further notice. Now that the restrictions have been lifted and demand for air travel has swiftly rebounded, the airline will reopen the routes. In many ways, the decision to reopen these routes is a more sound decision than opening routes to even more popular airports such as LAS or MCO. The reason is that the airline knows that demand for these routes exists because it has previously operated them and has statistics showing their demand levels.

The routes to busier airports offer more connections and more attractions to customers. However, opening a route for the first time is always risky for an airline, even when the data shows that demand is there. Only when the route is opened and ticket sales are made available can the airline know how successful the route will be.

New terminal

The new terminal at MCI will open on March 3rd, 2023. The project will cost the airport $1.5 billion when finished and will greatly expand the airport’s size and capacity. It will bring the mid-sized airport over 50 retail and dining spaces while adding dozens of gates. These additional gates will significantly expand the airport’s capacity and are needed in order for Southwest to introduce the new routes it has announced. Airport officials predict that the increased capacity allowing for additional flights to the airport will increase passenger traffic.

Photo: Kansas City International Airport

Since the pandemic, the airline has seen positive demand growth. In September, the number of departing passengers exceeded 438,000. This number shows a 21.3% increase over September 2021 numbers. Throughout the year, the airport has seen 3.6 million departing passengers. This translates to a 32.6% increase over the same period last year. Southwest Airlines transports the largest percentage of passengers to and from MCI, controlling 44.2% of the market share. The next closes airline is American Airlines which controls 18.4% of the market share.

What do you think of these additional routes? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Kansas City Business Journal

  • Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 San Francisco

    Southwest Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Low-Cost Carrier

    Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Dallas Love Field, Denver International Airport, Harry Reid International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Houston Hobby Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Midway International Airport, Oakland International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Robert Jordan

    United States

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