Southwest Airlines initiates its newest flight today as the company officially adds a second flight from Spokane to Oakland to its local schedule.
That brings to 11 the number of daily flights the low-fare airline operates out of Spokane International Airport.
In May, the airline will add three Spokane-Boise flights daily, with those flights extending on to Reno and Los Angeles. Passengers also will be able to connect to Salt Lake City in Boise, according to David Yarbrough, Southwest’s station manager in Spokane.
Later in the summer, two Seattle-to-Spokane flights will be added to the airline’s schedule, but Yarbrough says the company has not yet determined whether those two flights will return to Seattle, or proceed somewhere else.
The additional flights have prompted Southwest to add a third gate to its operations at Spokane International, taking the last uncommitted gate at the airport.
“Demand is the reason for all these additions,” Yarbrough said Friday. “Our numbers are doing real well here.”
Several airlines have attempted daily Spokane-Boise flights, only to back out of the route because of low ridership.
But Yarbrough said the connecting service to Salt Lake, and the continuing service to Reno and Los Angeles should make the routes viable.
“Reno and Los Angeles are very strong markets for us,” he explained.