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Southwest Airlines just announced 10 new routes and has a new shortest that's only 73 miles long – here's the full list

Business Insider logoBusiness Insider 29/10/2020 tpallini@businessinsider.com (Thomas Pallini)
a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky: Southwest Airlines is growing with 10 new routes across the US. Chris Parypa Photography/shutterstock © Chris Parypa Photography/shutterstock Southwest Airlines is growing with 10 new routes across the US. Chris Parypa Photography/shutterstock
  • Southwest Airlines is adding 10 new routes to its network in 2021 as aviation enters the first full year of its recovery. 
  • The route additions center around Southwest's two newest airports in Colorado and Illinois. 
  • Southwest will also have a new shortest route at just 73 miles long between to Colorado cities.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Airlines are declaring 2020 a wash and are already looking to 2021 for new routes and destinations in what will be the first full year of aviation's long recovery. 

Southwest Airlines is adding 10 new routes to leisure destinations across the US with new airports in Colorado and Illinois the primary focus.

The expansion will add one new destination, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a new airport in an existing city, O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Routes to Colorado Springs will offer yet another gateway to the mountains where travelers can social distance in nature, with all of the routes starting just over a week before the start of spring. 

Starting service to O'Hare International, however, is a major departure from Southwest's original low-cost business model. Southwest already has a major base in Chicago but at the smaller Midway International Airport, 15 miles to the southeast of the bustling international airport that United Airlines and American Airlines call home. 

While Southwest has historically steered clear of major international airports largely due to the costs associated with using them, the pandemic is forcing the low-cost carrier to change it up.

The third quarter saw Southwest report losses of $1.2 billion thanks to the continued decline in traffic. CEO Gary Kelly also announced that the airline will stop limiting capacity and blocking seats come December 1, a policy that cost $20 million in lost revenue for the quarter.

Here's where Southwest Airlines is flying in 2021.

Between Chicago and Baltimore

a tall building in a city: Baltimore, Maryland. David Shvartsman/Getty Images © David Shvartsman/Getty Images Baltimore, Maryland. David Shvartsman/Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Chicago and Baltimore on February 14, 2021, with four times daily service from O'Hare International complementing existing service from Midway International. 

Three other airlines currently serve the route with Southwest going up against American Airlines, United Airlines, and Spirit Airlines. 

Between Chicago and Nashville, Tennessee

a bridge over a body of water with a city in the background: Nashville, Tennessee. ohn Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images © ohn Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images Nashville, Tennessee. ohn Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Chicago and Nashville on February 14, 2021, with four times daily service from O'Hare International complementing existing service from Midway International. 

Three other airlines currently serve the route with Southwest going up against American Airlines, United Airlines, and Frontier Airlines. 

Between Chicago and Denver

a view of a city with a mountain in the background: Denver, Colorado. Brad McGinley Photography / Getty Images © Brad McGinley Photography / Getty Images Denver, Colorado. Brad McGinley Photography / Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Chicago and Denver on February 14, 2021, with six times daily service from O'Hare International complementing existing service from Midway International. 

Four other airlines currently serve the route with Southwest going up against American Airlines, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Frontier Airlines. 

Between Chicago and Phoenix

a cactus in a city: Phoenix, Arizona. Ross D. Franklin/AP © Ross D. Franklin/AP Phoenix, Arizona. Ross D. Franklin/AP

Southwest will begin flying between Chicago and Phoenix on February 14, 2021, with twice-daily service from O'Hare International complementing existing service from Midway International. 

Four other airlines currently serve the route with Southwest going up against American Airlines, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Frontier Airlines. 

Between Chicago and Dallas

a tall building in a city: Dallas, Texas. Nathanael Hovee / EyeEm/Getty Images © Nathanael Hovee / EyeEm/Getty Images Dallas, Texas. Nathanael Hovee / EyeEm/Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Chicago and Dallas on February 14, 2021, with four times daily service from O'Hare International complementing existing service from Midway International. The Chicago-Dallas route is one of the most lucrative air routes in the country, so much so that American Airlines often flew its wide-body aircraft on the route in pre-pandemic times. 

Four other airlines currently serve the route with Southwest going up against American Airlines, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Frontier Airlines. Southwest will utilize Dallas Love Field, however, while its competitors operate into the larger Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, further from downtown Dallas. 

Between Colorado Springs, Colorado and Denver

a close up of a busy city street: Denver, Colorado. Laser1987/Getty Images © Laser1987/Getty Images Denver, Colorado. Laser1987/Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Colorado Springs, Colorado and Denver on March 11, 2021, with four times daily service. At only 63 nautical miles long, the flight will be the shortest in the Southwest route network, taking the spot of the intra-Hawaiian Kahului-Kona route, according to route data from Cirium.

Only one other airline currently serves the route with Southwest going up against United Airlines, which operates regional jets between the two cities, connecting Colorado Springs with the world through Denver. Much like United, Southwest is opening the route to feed flyers into its Denver route network that includes flights to both coasts and international destinations in Mexico. 

Between Colorado Springs, Colorado and Las Vegas

a sign in front of a palm tree with Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign in the background: Las Vegas, Nevada. Westend61/Getty Images © Westend61/Getty Images Las Vegas, Nevada. Westend61/Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Colorado Springs, Colorado and Las Vegas on March 11, 2021, with twice-daily service.

Only one other airline currently serves the route with Southwest going up against Frontier Airlines, which operates five-times-weekly service between the two cities. 

Between Colorado Springs, Colorado and Phoenix

a large body of water with a city in the background: Phoenix, Arizona. miroslav_1/Getty Images © miroslav_1/Getty Images Phoenix, Arizona. miroslav_1/Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Colorado Springs, Colorado and Phoenix on March 11, 2021, with twice-daily service.

Only one other airline currently serves the route with Southwest going up against Frontier Airlines, which operates five-times-weekly service between the two cities. 

Between Colorado Springs, Colorado and Dallas

a body of water with a city in the background: Dallas, Texas. Shutterstock.com © Shutterstock.com Dallas, Texas. Shutterstock.com

Southwest will begin flying between Colorado Springs, Colorado and Dallas on March 11, 2021, with three-times-daily service.

Only one other airline currently serves the route with Southwest going up against American Airlines, which operates daily service between the two cities. Southwest will utilize Dallas Love Field, however, while its competitor operates into the larger Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, further from downtown Dallas. 

Between Colorado Springs, Colorado and Chicago

a large body of water with a city in the background: Chicago, Illinois. Joe Daniel Price/Getty Images © Joe Daniel Price/Getty Images Chicago, Illinois. Joe Daniel Price/Getty Images

Southwest will begin flying between Colorado Springs, Colorado and Chicago on March 11, 2021, with twice-daily service utilizing Midway International Airport.

Two other airlines currently serve the route with Southwest going up against American Airlines and United Airlines. Its competitors utilize O'Hare International Airport, however, further from downtown Chicago. 

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