Southwest adds new direct flight from New Orleans to Austin

Southwest Airlines is adding a new non-stop flight between New Orleans and Austin, Texas, starting in November. The service brings the number of direct destinations from New Orleans to 41, only one short of the pre-Hurricane Katrina number, said an announcement from Louis Armstrong International Airport.

Southwest has the largest presence among airlines at Armstrong, with 51 flights under its flagship brand name and five flights by Airtran Airways, which Southwest owns.

Earlier this year, Southwest added direct flights from New Orleans to Key West, Fla., and Newark, N.J.

In the statement from the airport, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu cited the expansion by Southwest as a sign of increasing demand for air service in New Orleans, which he said is key to the city gaining more routes.

Spirit Airlines also recently entered the New Orleans market. Frontier Airlines added service to Trenton, N.J., and the Vacation Express tour operator is about to begin seasonal flights to Cancun.

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