Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

Southwest Airlines Increases Presence in Kansas City

The Dallas-based carrier is opening up seven new routes in and out of the city from next spring, while also resuming two routes suspended due to COVID

by Fergus Cole

November 3, 2022

Southwest Airlines / Photo: Courtesy of Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is opening up new routes to Kansas City International Airport (MCI) next spring, following the completion of the airport’s new terminal.

Work on the new terminal at Kansas City began in 2019, and after an estimated expenditure of $1.5 billion, it is set to finally replace the existing Terminal A on March 3, 2023. 

The new terminal is set to be much bigger than the existing one, allowing for greater capacity with dozens of extra gates and encouraging Southwest Airlines to open up new routes to the city, as well as resume some routes that were suspended during the COVID pandemic.

The Dallas-based airline has recently released its flight schedule through to July 10, 2023, and the new routes passengers can expect from April include: 

  • MCI to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • MCI to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • MCI to San Diego International Airport (SAN)
  • MCI to St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
  • MCI to Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)
  • MCI to Indianapolis International Airport (IND)

In addition, Southwest passengers can also expect the introduction of three new routes from June 2023:

  • MCI to Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International airport (LAS)
  • MCI to Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • MCI to Pensacola International Airport (PNS)

Apart from Albuquerque and Indianapolis—suspended due to the pandemic—all these are brand-new routes into the airline’s country-wide network. While Albuquerque and Indianapolis may hold different appeal than destinations compared to Las Vegas or Los Angeles, Southwest is confident there is sufficient demand for these routes based on their previous success.

Kansas City International Airport is one of many airports across the U.S. that is seeing a significant recovery in passenger demand following the pandemic. According to the Kansas City Aviation Department, more than 438,000 passengers passed through the airport in September—a 21.3% increase compared to the same month in 2021.

Statistics from the Aviation Department also show that Southwest Airlines is, by far, the most dominant carrier at MCI, with a 44.2% market share in September. The next biggest airline at MCI in September in terms of market share is American Airlines, at 18.4%.

Dan Landson, a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines, said the carrier was excited about the opportunities that MCI’s new terminal will bring. “As Kansas City International Airport’s largest carrier, Southwest looks forward to serving our Customers and the community from the new KCI terminal in 2023,” Landson said.

In addition to the 39 new gates in the terminal, the airport is expected to accommodate over 50 retail and dining outlets, hoping to enhance the customer experience for all passengers.