File image from the Associated Press.
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Southwest Airlines has announced that it will make Grand Rapids one of their next cities to be transitioned from AirTran Airways to Southwest Airlines service starting in August.
The Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan made the announcement Monday morning at the Ford International Airport.
Beginning August 11, 2013 Southwest will have nonstop service to Baltimore/Washington, Denver, Orlando, St. Louis. The additional Southwest destinations represent a nearly doubling of service levels from Grand Rapids.
Southwest nonstop service to Denver and St. Louis are new, additional destinations out of Grand Rapids.
"Southwest's expanded service to Gerald R. Ford International Airport is more great news for our region's economy. The news affirms the combined efforts of RAAWM, Gerald R Ford Airport leadership, community leaders and local travelers to ensure West Michigan has quality commercial air service," said Dick DeVos, RAAWM's founder and chairman.
The expectation is Southwest's entry will lower prices for all air travel out of Ford, which is one of the country's most expensive. DeVos says travelers may notice price drops even before Southwest starts in August. "In some cases, like Air Tran - we actually saw pricing benefit before the service began in anticipation" DeVos said.