Less than a month after revealing it was halting nonstop service between Austin and Newark Liberty International Airport, one of three major airports serving New York City, Southwest Airlines is eliminating nonstop flights between Austin and San Francisco.
The change, effective January 6, is part of a sweeping effort by Southwest to free up capacity for its expanding number of new routes to Hawaii. In the latest round of cuts, the Dallas-based airline is slashing 17 nonstop routes. In Austin, the San Francisco nonstop is the only one affected by this move.
“We are always evaluating our service patterns and performance to ensure that we are offering the right number of seats for the community based on demand from travelers,” Southwest spokesman Dan Landson says in a statement.
Southwest started the Austin-San Francisco nonstop service in April 2018, with one daily flight in each direction.
At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, San Francisco is a highly popular destination. Three other airlines offer nonstop service between Austin and San Francisco International Airport — Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and United Airlines.
Southwest says one-stop service still will be available between Austin and San Francisco. In addition, nonstop service remains between Austin and two other destinations in the San Francisco Bay Area — Oakland and San Jose.
Elsewhere in Texas, Dallas Love Field is losing three nonstop routes on Southwest to help accommodate the Hawaii flights: San Francisco; Oklahoma City; and Jacksonville, Florida. Among other cities losing nonstop service on Southwest are Los Angeles; Boston; and Orlando, Florida.
“Airlines routinely eliminate flights with weaker-than-expected performance,” USA Today says, “but don’t trumpet the cutbacks like they do new flights.”