Southwest to start Boston service

Southwest revealed last night that it plans to start service this fall to Boston Logan Airport -- a development that could lead to lower fares on the PHL-BOS route at some time in the distant future. Southwest didn't say where it would fly first, but Boston's large metro population, like Philly's, means there's lots of business and leisure travel between the two. Southwest flies from PHL to nearby airports in Providence and Manchester, N.H., but that service hasn't influenced BOS-PHL fares. I'll check again today. but the fares have remained stubbornly high because only major legacy carriers now offer nonstop flights.

In this Boston Globe story, one analyst suggests that Chicago, Baltimore and Florida cities are the most logical places to start service first. He's right. The new city for Southest is one more indication (starting at PHL was one of the first) that it's no longer settling for expansion just by going to mid-sized cities or underutilized airports in major cities. The announcement also is an indication that despite the recession, Southwest has some resources available to grow while many others just hunker down or shrink.