Southwest Airlines To Relaunch Baltimore-Oakland Route

Credit: Joe Pries

Southwest Airlines will resume transcontinental service between two key airports in its network, reconnecting Baltimore/Washington (BWI) and Oakland (OAK).

Southwest suspended the BWI-OAK route in December 2020. The airline will relaunch daily nonstop service between the airports from Sept. 5 using a Boeing 737-8 configured to carry 175 passengers.  

BWI is Southwest’s busiest East Coast airport, with 4,000 employees based at the Maryland airport. The airline has indicated it plans continued growth at BWI, which is in the midst of a $332.5 million terminal enhancement project set to be completed by 2026. 

Southwest has a more than 70% market share at the airport, according to BWI. 

The airline operates more than 60% of OAK’s domestic flights, according to statistics provided by the airport. Though Southwest has flown a relatively small schedule out of San Francisco (SFO) since 2007, OAK before then was the airline’s San Francisco Bay Area network point and remains one of its busiest airports.

In 1999, Southwest had a 70% domestic market share at OAK. The airport points out that the airline’s service level at the airport has not decreased, but its domestic market share has dropped because of growth from new entrants. OAK is Southwest’s second busiest California airport after Los Angeles (LAX). The carrier also has a strong presence at San Jose (SJC), located 30 mi. from OAK.

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.