A week before the Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s first nonstop service to New Orleans will take flight via Allegiant Air, Southwest Airlines has announced its own nonstop service to The Big Easy.
Southwest Airlines’ nonstop service from RDU to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport will begin April 30 on Fridays and Sundays, and Allegiant Air’s service begins Feb. 16 on Thursdays and Sundays.
“We are adding the new flight to continue connecting our customers to what’s important in their lives,” Southwest spokesman Dan Landson said. “We’ve seen some increases in demand on weekend travel to and from New Orleans, which is the primary reason the route made sense to us.”
New Orleans is one of RDU’s top markets that is not served with daily service, even though about 200 people travel between Raleigh and New Orleans via a connecting hub every day.
“It’s a city that people want to go to, and we are excited to have additional service that goes there,” RDU spokesman Andrew Sawyer said.
Sawyer said the flights likely will serve more vacation and leisure travelers because of the days of the week flights are available.
“It’s definitely geared toward people wanting to go down for a long weekend and have a good time in The Big Easy,” he said.
Before Allegiant’s announcement in November, New Orleans was one of RDU’s top destinations without nonstop service. The top five destinations without nonstop service now are Kansas City, Mo., Portland, Ore., San Juan, Puerto Rico, and San Diego and San Jose, Calif., according to RDU.
Delta Airlines also is expected to launch a few more nonstop flights later this year, to Austin, Texas, in March and Seattle in June.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-829-4845: @KTrogdon