WBEZ | Southwest Airlines http://www.wbez.org/tags/southwest-airlines Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Southwest Airlines adds hub in Atlanta http://www.wbez.org/story/southwest-airlines-adds-hub-atlanta-96335 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-13/Southwest_John Rogers.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-13/Southwest_John Rogers_600.jpg" style="margin-bottom: 15px; width: 600px; height: 338px; " title="(Flickr/John Rogers)"></p><p>Southwest Airlines has added Atlanta to its growing national route map with daily nonstop flights to locations including Chicago.</p><p>That's according to the <a href="http://bit.ly/xoP5l2">Atlanta Journal-Constitution</a>.</p><p>Southwest officials have wanted a launching pad to Atlanta's airport for years, but the company couldn't get a foothold in the market until it bought out AirTran Airways, a rival discounter that based much of its operations in Atlanta.</p><p>The Dallas-based discount airline launched 15 daily flights from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, including routes to Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Chicago; Denver; and Houston.</p><p>Officials with Chicago's Department of Aviation say there will be four flights each day from Midway International Airport to Hartsfield-Jackson.</p><p>Department officials say Midway is Southwest's largest airport hub.</p></p> Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/southwest-airlines-adds-hub-atlanta-96335 Air officials investigating runway incident at Midway Airport http://www.wbez.org/story/air-officials-investigating-runway-incident-midway-airport-85729 <p><p>The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an incident at Midway Airport.</p><p>A Southwest Airlines plane slid off the end of the runway Tuesday, stopping just short of a barrier separating the airport from the street. Offials say none of the 140 passengers or crew was injured.</p><p>The plane skidded off the runway at about 1:35 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. There were reports of heavy rain at the time of the landing. Passengers were taken off the plane and bused back to the terminal.</p><p>Joe Schwieterman follows the airline industry at DePaul University. He said Midway has gotten safer in recent years.</p><p>"They've done some facility modifications at the end of the runways, installed some of the safety buffering for an aircraft to overrun the runway, it's easier for them to stop at some of the permeable surfaces they put in there," he said.</p><p>But Schwieterman said despite the updates, Midway will always have challenges like Tuesday's because the runways are too short.</p><p>In 2005 a plane slid off the runway at Midway and crashed onto the street, killing one person.</p></p> Wed, 27 Apr 2011 12:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/air-officials-investigating-runway-incident-midway-airport-85729 Midway ranks last in on-time departures http://www.wbez.org/story/airports/midway-ranks-last-time-departures <p><p>Chicago's Midway International Airport is ranked dead last among the 29 busiest airports in the nation in on-time departures. That's according to new statistics from the Department of Transportation for the month of November.</p><p>Joe Schwieterman, a transportation expert at DePaul University, said, &quot;Midway's feeling the pain of just growing volumes, and Southwest (Airlines) is increasingly running it as a hub. It's the second largest airport in the Southwest system. So they face the problem of having to hold flights often for late-arriving flights. So one late-arriving flight can delay a half a dozen departing flights. It's a real problem.&quot;</p><p>Schwieterman said Southwest has a &quot;massive East Coast operation.&quot; And he said the East Coast had terrible weather in November which led to some delays.<br /><br />Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride said the department is not aware of any operational issues at the airport causing delays, other than occasional bad weather.<br /><br />O'Hare International Airport was 10th in on-time departures in November. Both O'Hare and Midway ranked in the middle-of-the-pack among airports in on-time arrivals for the month.</p></p> Wed, 12 Jan 2011 19:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/airports/midway-ranks-last-time-departures