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Southwest ditches Newark airport. Do other flights cost more?



If you fly in and out of New Jersey's main airport, it won't be on Southwest anymore.

But that does not mean that there will be major changes to Newark Liberty.

The Dallas-based airline announced on Thursday that it will consolidate its operations in New York City at LaGuardia Airport as of November 3. Though losing an airline can raise fears of price increases, there are too many factors that know how the loss will affect your wallet. [19659004] ”We must understand that this is a dynamic situation. Airlines do not commit to a destination forever, says Dr. Ahmed Abdelghany, the Associate Dean of Research at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Business School. "Airlines are looking at the situation at nearby airports."

Because Newark is so close to other major hubs in New York like LaGuardia or John F. Kennedy International, airlines have to compete not only with a few operator ports but with others across the river. And losing about 1

5 mid-day flights to destinations such as Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, Phoenix, Denver and Austin are likely to have a minimal impact, Abdelghany said.

Southwest's departure leaves 33 other airlines at Newark, several of which offer service to Southwest destinations.

Existing Newark airlines can look up vacancies left by Southwest, but in crowded airports like EWR, it's not always the best move, Abdelghany said.

Southwest chairman and chief executive Gary C. Kelley said in a statement that "financial results in Newark have been below expectations, despite the efforts of our excellent team at Newark."

For a cheaper airline such as Southwest, major hubs like Newark can be unprofitable: Spending long hours on taxis in brands is more difficult to turn a large volume of flights. The discount airline WOW Air closed abruptly in March, leaving a sudden vacancy in Newark.

Southwest said that the 125 Newark employees can apply to move to other airports with strong customer needs, such as LaGuardia.

The trade union representing many of the workers, 32BJ, to the Service Employees International Union, said that they hope Southwest extends similar offers to subcontractors also by asking suppliers at LaGuardia to offer them positions.

The union also urged the airport to fill the vacant port with an airline that uses "responsible companies" to provide subcontractors.

"We ask the airline to make sure that the suppliers provide good jobs and meaningful benefits to all concerned service workers regardless of their affiliation," the statement said. "When workers can afford to live in New Jersey, it supports the whole community."

The decision comes in the midst of the construction of Terminal One, Newark Liberty's $ 2.7 billion project, which transformed the oldest terminal into an elegant 1 million square-foot space with 33 gates and 3,000-car parking garages. jobs, $ 1.9 billion in salaries and $ 4.6 million in economic activity.

The agency also has a $ 1.7 billion plan to expand the PATH train to the airport.

A Port Authority spokesman not immediately comment on how Southwest's departure affects the project.

This story has been updated to include a statement from 32BJ SEIU.

Amanda Hoover can be reached at ahoover@njadvancemedia.com . Follow her on Twitter @amandahoovernj . Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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