Passenger loads at Tulsa International Airport have been down, but that didn't stop Southwest Airlines from adding a new nonstop to Chicago.
The low-cost airline announced Monday it will add a flight from Tulsa International Airport to Chicago's Midway International Airport, the first flight Southwest has added from Tulsa since 2008 when it picked up Denver. Currently, none of the airlines fly Tulsa to Midway but American Airlines and United Airlines serve Tulsa to Chicago through O'Hare International Airport.
Flights begin in June and can be booked through Aug. 9.
Tulsa International Airport experienced a nearly 5 percent drop in outbound passengers in October, compared with the same month in 2011. Passenger gains were made in April and May but slipped in the following months. Overall, departures have decreased more than 1.5 percent this year.
“As we continue to identify opportunities for new service and as airlines work with us to bring that service on line, hopefully we can generate additional demand,” said Alexis Higgins, an airport spokeswoman.
At Will Rogers World Airport, a dip in September didn't continue in October, when the airport had a 1.62 percent increase in departing passengers.
Travelers, however, are being cautious about holiday travel and the airlines have indicated flights won't be at maximum capacity this week, said Karen Carney, a spokeswoman for Will Rogers World Airport.
“We're still faring better than a lot of cities around the country,” she said.
Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport reported 4,636 departing passengers in October, a decrease of 13.2 percent compared with the same month last year. Overall, outbound traffic has decreased 10.7 percent in 2012.