Southwest Airlines announces new flight from LIMA

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Southwest Airlines announces new flight from LIMA


RONKONKOMA—Southwest Airlines is expanding its services at Long Island MacArthur Airport. During a press conference last week, the Dallas-based airline announced the launch of a new flight to and from Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina.

“We’re constantly surveying the opportunities to bring time-saving service in markets where our customers show us they want and need to travel,” said Brook Sorem, senior director of schedule planning at Southwest Airlines. “We’ve looked at trends and are pleased to dedicate the aircraft and scheduling resources for this fast-track between Long Island and the high-tech and higher education-focused research in North Carolina.”

The new service, which is offered twice a day with a stopover in Baltimore, took its first flight last Thursday evening, the same day as the announcement. 

MacArthur Airport commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken said the service would be a “real time-saver” for travelers, particularly business travelers who work in the banking, healthcare and technology fields. “Brookhaven labs is one of the many companies on Long Island that already flies to and regularly conducts business in Raleigh-Durham,” LaRose-Arken said. She also noted how the location is becoming a tourist destination in its own right. 

Last month, airport officials launched a $25,000 campaign, comprised primarily of digital advertisements, in support of the service. LaRose-Arken says the airport hopes Southwest decides to make the flight nonstop in the future. “It’s been over a year since Southwest came to us with an interest in this flight,” she said, adding that the airline schedules flights 18 months in advance. 

News about the new route comes after Frontier Airlines added direct flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico and Myrtle Beach, S.C., from MacArthur last month. Daily flights to San Juan will begin April 8, while services to Myrtle Beach will begin May 20, operating on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Earlier this year, Frontier also announced they would be cancelling routes between MacArthur and Fort Myers, Miami and New Orleans later this spring, which they considered “seasonal” destinations. There is still no word on when and if those destinations will be returning to LIMA this fall.