Local airport officials cheered the announcement by Southwest Airlines that the carrier will launch new flights to San Francisco and expand existing service to Denver from Ontario International Airport (ONT).
According to the initial schedule, Southwest will operate four daily roundtrips between ONT and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) beginning June 9, 2019. Flights will depart ONT at 8:00 a.m., 3:20 p.m., 5:25 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. with arrivals at 7:25 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 7:05 p.m.
Southwest will also add a third daily flight to Denver International Airport (DEN) effective June 9, 2019, departing ONT at 10:45 a.m. with a return flight arriving at 3:40 p.m. The new service will operate Monday through Friday. Southwest currently serves DEN from ONT with daily, nonstop departures at 6:20 a.m. and 3:40 p.m. local time.
“Our proudest moments come when our airline partners add new flights to their schedules, giving our customers more options for air travel in Southern California,” said Alan D. Wapner, president of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA).
Said Mark Thorpe, chief executive officer of the OIAA, “Our mission is to develop Ontario into an appealing, low-cost gateway airport that will meet the increasing demand for air service in the region. If airlines are expanding flight schedules, we are accomplishing our mission.”
Southwest is the fourth airline in recent months to begin or announce new flights at ONT. Frontier Airlines launched daily nonstop service to Orlando in August and JetBlue Airways initiated nonstop service to New York City in September. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines announced plans for service to Atlanta beginning in April.
Southwest currently serves the Bay Area with seven flights a day to Oakland and five flights a day to San Jose.
With passenger volumes consistently rising by double-digits on a year-over-year basis, ONT is the fastest-growing airport in Southern California. The airport is on pace to welcome five million passengers this year, the greatest number of passengers since 2008.