Southwest Airlines starting next year will offer seasonal, nonstop weekend flights between the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and Nashville.
The airline on Thursday announced plans for new Saturday and Sunday service between Nashville International Airport and Grand Rapids, effective June 8, 2024.
“This service will further connect our business and leisure passengers to a major destination,” Tory Richardson, president and CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority, said in a statement. “We are grateful to our partners at Southwest for helping deliver convenient and exceptional travel experiences to our community.”
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Fares for the first available one-way flight on Saturday, June 8, from Grand Rapids to Nashville start at $111, according to booking details on Southwest’s website.
Southwest Airlines becomes the second airline to fly directly between Grand Rapids and Nashville, in addition to Allegiant Air, which operates the service year-round.
“We continue to optimize our schedule and respond to changing travel trends,” Brook Sorem, vice president of network planning at Southwest Airlines, said in a statement. “We look forward to providing this service between two strong leisure markets.”
For Southwest, the new flight service comes as the airline prepares to open its new crew base in Nashville in 2024.
Southwest Airlines in August announced plans to add a 12th crew base for its system in Music City with roughly 150-250 pilots and 500-700 flight attendants. The number of pilots based in Nashville is expected to grow to about 500-600.
The airline also plans to add four new gates at the Nashville airport by the end of 2023, according to a news release in August.
Today’s announcement from Southwest also included expanded flight schedules and service among various destinations across the U.S., including new nonstop routes to six international destinations from Orlando, Fla.
As well, the announcement comes about one week after Sun Country Airlines announced new scheduled route service to and from Grand Rapids that is also set to begin in June 2024.
The Minnesota-based airline initially will operate a nonstop route from Grand Rapids to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport from June 13 to Sept. 1, 2024, on Sundays and Thursdays, providing a low-cost travel option for leisure passengers.
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