Southwest Abandoning Newark Airport

Southwest, the nation’s largest discount airline, said it will end flights from Newark .Airport in New Jersey this November.

The airline cited problems with the 737 Max aircraft (photo above) which have been grounded worldwide this year due to safety troubles for cutting Newark service and weak revenues at the airport. Southwest has 34 737 Max aircraft out of a total of 753 aircraft or about 5% of its total fleet.

The company will continue to operate in the NY area at LaGuardia Airport.

Gary Kelly, Chairman and CEO of Southwest, said, “Based on the extensive delays in returning the MAX to service, we expect that annual 2019 Available Seat Miles (ASMs) will now decrease in the 1 to 2 percent range, year-over-year, compared with our original 2019 plan to grow capacity nearly 5 percent, year-over-year. As such, we are taking necessary steps to mitigate damages and optimize our aircraft and resources. We will cease operations at Newark Liberty International Airport and consolidate our New York City presence at New York LaGuardia Airport, effective November 3, 2019. The financial results at Newark have been below expectations, despite the efforts of our excellent Team at Newark. I am grateful to our wonderful Newark Employees, who are a top priority, and will be given an opportunity to relocate to another station in our system, including LaGuardia Airport, where we are experiencing strong Customer demand. As part of this move, we will offer options and flexibility for Customers to recover planned travel from other area airports.”

Southwest first launched service from Newark in 2011. The airline serves 101 destinations in 11 countries.