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Southwest adds more flights in Denver

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October 22, 2009 11:03 AM EST | AP


DALLAS — Southwest Airlines Co. is adding flights and new destinations from Denver, where it has grown rapidly in three years to compete against United and Republic's Frontier Airlines.

Southwest said Thursday it would add 13 more daily flights in Denver, its fastest-growing location.

The discount airline currently operates 112 flights in Denver. That will jump to 127 with the previously announced plans to offer nonstop service to Boston, Spokane, Wash., and Reno, Nev., in January and the flights announced Thursday.

Southwest said that beginning in March it will add nonstop service from Denver to Detroit, Hartford, Conn.; Boise, Idaho; Ontario, Calif., and Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. The airline, which recently acquired two more gates at the Denver airport for a total of 12 gates, said it plans to add more flights in May.

Southwest pulled out of the old Denver airport years ago, but resumed service to the city in 2006 with 13 daily flights. This year, it made a bid to buy Frontier Airlines out of bankruptcy but withdrew when it could not get an agreement with union pilots over merging the Southwest and Frontier crews.

Frontier went instead to Republic Airways Holdings Inc. On Wednesday, Frontier announced it will launch daily nonstop service from Denver to New Orleans and Louisville, Ky., next year.

Southwest shares fell 4 cents to $8.81 in morning trading.