Officials from Miami International Airport, Southwest Airlines and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) celebrated the airline’s launch of first-ever Miami service on November 16 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, inaugural event gifts for first-time arriving and departing passengers, and a water-cannon salute by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
Southwest’s Miami launch includes service to four U.S. destinations – Baltimore, Chicago (Midway Airport), Houston (Hobby Airport) and Tampa - for a combined total of 12 daily round-trip flights, making it one of the busiest passenger airlines currently operating at MIA. Southwest’s flights to Baltimore four times daily and Tampa three times daily will significantly increase MIA’s existing service to those cities, while its four daily flights to Houston Hobby and daily flight to Chicago Midway will provide new service from MIA to those airports. Southwest was the nation's largest domestic air carrier in 2019.
The combined economic impact of the new Southwest routes at the announced weekly schedule is projected to generate more than $853 million in local business revenue and 6,788 jobs in the local economy annually.
“We welcome Southwest Airlines with open arms to Miami-Dade County and to MIA,” said Lester Sola, MIA Director and CEO. “In addition to the substantial commitment of flights and increased options for our passengers, Southwest’s Miami expansion will inject a significant amount of economic impact and job creation within our community.”
In July, Southwest was recognized by Tripadvisor as a winner of four awards in the 2020 Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Awards for Airlines. Awards are based on a full year of Tripadvisor reviews. Southwest Airlines was recognized as: Best Airline in North America; Best Airline in the U.S.; Best Economy in North America; and Best Low-Cost Airline in North America.
“We appreciate the warm welcome to Miami, and the Southwest Team is honored to serve South Florida,” said Steve Goldberg, Senior Vice President Operations and Hospitality at Southwest Airlines. ”With 12 daily flights from Miami International Airport, we are offering visitors and residents access to our legendary Southwest Hospitality and our low fares. We look forward to bringing visitors to this beautiful area for their vacations, connections with family and friends, and business activities. We thank you for welcoming us into your community.”
Southwest became the nation’s largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. In peak travel seasons during 2019, Southwest operated more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 101 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries.