Southwest adds new destination in northwest Florida

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DALLAS — Southwest Airlines Co. said Wednesday it will begin service to a new airport near Panama City, Fla., next May.

It will be the discount carrier’s seventh location in Florida.

Southwest has continued to add new cities to its map — New York, Boston, Milwaukee and Minneapolis this year — even as it eliminates other flights and shrinks capacity overall due to the slump in air travel.

CEO Gary Kelly said the expansion to northwest Florida was done in partnership with a land developer, The St. Joe Co. Because of the alliance, he called it low-risk for the Dallas-based airline.

Kelly said the airline would operate eight daily flights to four destinations from the new airport, but wouldn’t identify the destinations until December, when it will begin selling tickets.

The airport is still under construction and is scheduled to open in May.