Southwest Airlines launches nonstop flights from Pittsburgh to LA
February 18, 2016 12:00 AM
Scott Olson/Getty Images
By Mark Belko / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
For the last year, Christina Cassotis has been banging on the doors of the airlines hoping one of them would help to beef up the paltry nonstop service to the West Coast from Pittsburgh International Airport.
The Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO finally is getting her wish.
Southwest Airlines plans to announce today that it will launch daily nonstop service to Los Angeles International Airport from Pittsburgh on Aug. 7.
The flight will leave Pittsburgh daily at 7:10 p.m. The return flight from Los Angeles will depart at 4:55 p.m.
It will give local travelers another much-needed option to get to the City of Angels. The only carrier that now flies nonstop to LA is American Airlines, with a 6 a.m. daily flight that is scaled back to four times a week in the winter.
“The greater Pittsburgh region holds a unique place in Southwest’s network playbook. Pittsburgh customers have been asking for West Coast service and with this daily nonstop service to Los Angeles International Airport, we’re delivering,” said Dave Doty, Southwest senior manager, network planning.
The Los Angeles flight will be the airline’s first to the West Coast from Pittsburgh. It will be Southwest’s 16th destination from the airport, counting a St. Louis flight set to start March 10 and seasonal service to Palm Beach, Fla. That’s the most of any airline.
With the new flight, Southwest will have up to 30 daily nonstops from the Findlay airport.
One who has lobbied hard for additional LA service is Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office.
She said the number one complaint she gets from film industry clients is the lack of nonstop flights to and from Los Angeles.
“We’re beyond excited,” she said of the new flight.
“This will help ensure the continued growth of the film industry in southwestern Pennsylvania, as it shows that our region is serious about listening to our clients’ needs and the airport has delivered what was requested. Now we hope that this route will be so successful that a third nonstop will be added as soon as possible.”
The LA flight would be the latest in a recent string of successes for Ms. Cassotis and the airport.
Last week, OneJet announced it would be adding service to Hartford, Conn., and four other cities this year and making Pittsburgh a focus city, bringing 40 jobs.
In January, Frontier Airlines, which has not flown from Pittsburgh since 2012, unveiled plans to fly to Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Orlando, Fla., starting in mid-June.
In all, the airport has added 21 new routes in the last 13 months.
Mark Belko: email@example.com or 412-263-1262.
Updated, posted Feb. 18, 2016: This story was changed to reflect a new starting date and flight time information for the service released by Southwest.
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