AirTran/Southwest Adds Flights To Memphis International

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(Memphis) Southwest Airlines has decided to expand services in Memphis.

It’s offering three new direct flights starting August 11, with two flights a day going to Chicago-Midway, and one flight a day going to Orlando and another one going Baltimore, which will put passengers in the DC area.

News Channel 3 looked-up the costs of some of these new flights and they run about $100 each way.

“I feel like we won the Super Bowl,” said Jack Sammons, the chairman of Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority

“We want our customers to have great air service at an affordable price,” said Larry Cox.

Airport President Larry Cox says Memphis is a lot closer to having affordable prices now that Southwest Airlines is expanding its Air Tran service here.


“It saves you a trip on the most dangerous highway in America: driving to Little Rock, Arkansas and the the most boring interstate in America: driving to Nashville,” said Sammons.

The Memphis Airport Authority says Southwest decided to invest more in Memphis because Delta reduced its presence here.

“Delta had such a large percent of the market: 85 percent of the market,” said Cox. “It made it very difficult for other airlines to come-in and compete effectively.”

Cox says Delta now makes-up about 50 percent of the Memphis market, moving us closer to more competitive air fair prices.

The Airport Authority says Southwest is testing the waters so he's encouraging people in Memphis to use the airline's services and fly.

“Southwest execs have told me, ‘The more you fly, the more flights you get’,” said Sammons.

The three direct flights won`t be offered until August 11 but you can buy tickets online right now at

“We are excited and grateful that Southwest Airlines has decided to include MEM in their network.  This news is a home run for travelers in our region hungry for affordable flight options,” added recently elected Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority Chairman Jack Sammons. “Southwest management has informed me that they will add additional flights this year based on how well these initial flights perform. As one SWA exec remarked in our meeting last week, ‘The more flights we take, the more we get.’ It’s a new era in aviation in America and certainly a new era for our airport. Your Airport Authority will continue to be relentless in our efforts to make MEM the airport of choice for the traveling public.”  

More on Southwest Airlines entry into the Memphis market: