Southwest has announced that it’s coming to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
The airline is adding direct flights to Baltimore and Chicago.
Landing Southwest is a major accomplishment for the region and CVG, and all but signals the end of Delta Air Lines’ stranglehold on the market. Southwest is regarded as the gold standard of discount carriers, and airline experts have told The Enquirer it is the only low-cost airline that has the cachet to lower ticket prices across the board at an airport.
That’s good news for both business and leisure fliers in Greater Cincinnati. For years, competing airlines shied away from coming to CVG because of Delta’s dominance. But Delta has cut nearly 600 flights at its once-thriving CVG hub in the past decade, mostly due to the airline’s 2008 merger with Northwest Airlines.
Since McGraw took over as airport CEO in summer 2011, CVG has worked with top business leaders to aggressively recruit low-cost airlines. The airport pursued all domestic low-cost carriers, also including JetBlue Airways. Those efforts began to payoff four years ago this month, when low-cost Frontier Airlines announced it was coming to town.