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LAXintl
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Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:36 pm

With USA 3000 ending its Chicago-Cancun service in January 2012 as it winds down operations, a limited entry route authority designation between Chicago and Cancun Mexico will become vacant for US air carriers.

Today Southwest Airlines utilizing its wholly owned subsidiary AirTran filed with the DOT for authority to commence daily service between MDW and CUN effective March 11, 2012 utilizing Boeing 737 equipment.

In its pleading Southwest states, since being the second largest air carrier in the Chicago market by offering 220 departures from MDW, it service will benefit the greatest number of local passengers as well as provide a convenient connections to more than 50 beyond market to Cancun.

OST-2011-0225

**for reference the back story on this application is that Frontier filed with the DOT to simply transfer USA3000 authority to Frontier as it would continue the Apple Vacations contract, however Southwest Airlines objected stating the DOT needs to offer the route to all carriers and consider each applicant on its own merits.

[Edited 2011-12-07 14:41:25]
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Cubsrule
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:40 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
for reference the back story on this application is that Frontier filed with the DOT to simply transfer USA3000 authority to Frontier as it would continue the Apple Vacations contract, however Southwest Airlines objected stating the DOT needs to offer the route to all carriers and consider each applicant on its own merits.

And I think that's the entire story. DL won't apply for this authority (nor will anyone else), and WN/FL obviously win on the merits. The only question is whether DoT will rule on the merits.
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QANTAS747-438
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:20 pm

Very cool. Looks like WN is excited to start some international service.

MDW-CUN is 1431mi. For reference, nearly the exact same as MDW-PHX. Wonder if it'll be a -700 or -800? Since it's a leisure destination, I'm thinking -800.
My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
 
kcrwflyer
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:30 pm

Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 2):
MDW-CUN is 1431mi. For reference, nearly the exact same as MDW-PHX. Wonder if it'll be a -700 or -800? Since it's a leisure destination, I'm thinking -800.

Will they even have one in March? And aren't they being delivered to WN and not FL?
 
southloopswa
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:39 pm

Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 2):
Wonder if it'll be a -700 or -800? Since it's a leisure destination, I'm thinking -800.

Won't be an 800, those will be WN Livery. It says the operation will be done by FL which only has 700s.
 
atrude777
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:39 pm

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 3):

Will they even have one in March? And aren't they being delivered to WN and not FL?

Yes, March of 2012 is the first delivery of the 737-800.

Very cool!

However if F9 has the right to get the authority by a transfer from USA3000 I think F9 should get it first. If DOT feels the authority must be given up and WN is right about it, then ALL airlines should have the right to request it as WN is saying.

Alex
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mariner
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:08 am

Quoting atrude777 (Reply 5):
However if F9 has the right to get the authority by a transfer from USA3000 I think F9 should get it first. If DOT feels the authority must be given up and WN is right about it, then ALL airlines should have the right to request it as WN is saying.

  

I'm puzzled that Frontier isn't simply buying the Brendan Airways AOC.

mariner
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gizmonc
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:33 am

WN is working on the SOC and has reported it should be completed Mar 2012. In early 2012 the FL 737's are coming to DAL to be converted over to WN. At that time WN pilots will bid on those AC to flown by WN. If you have been keeping up with the pilot integration when those AC (737-700) come over to WN , the FL guys can not bid CA they have to bid the 717. in order to hold a CA seat. I guess FL will fly all this new service to Mexico until the SOC takes effect. FA's that have been hired in the last groups of FA were required to have passports.
 
737tdi
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:42 am

Quoting GizmoNC (Reply 7):
In early 2012 the FL 737's are coming to DAL to be converted over to WN.



Talked to one of the reps. at ATS PAE and I believe they are going to be doing the majority of conversions. DAL or PHX may get a few but I doubt it. We'll have our hands full with our own cabin conversions plus our normal maintenance lines. We are getting very close to max. capacity at DAL if not already there.

737tdi
 
WROORD
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:13 am

I did not know that there were restrictions on CHI-CUN routes. F9 used to fly MDW-CUN some years ago and were not very successful (they were charters for Apple). If F9 is not able to transfer flights from U5 it would be a great boost to UA and AA. U5 flies 2x daily in high season.
 
steex
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:18 am

Quoting WROORD (Reply 9):
If F9 is not able to transfer flights from U5 it would be a great boost to UA and AA. U5 flies 2x daily in high season.

I'd say the opposite - UA and AA would love to have F9 serving the route (with Apple) if the alternative is WN getting its hands on the authority.
 
dlramp4life
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:31 am

Doesn't G4 already run Apple charters to CUN via RFD?
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mariner
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:38 am

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 11):
Doesn't G4 already run Apple charters to CUN via RFD?

Not this year.

Frontier is flying RFD-CUN and RFD-PUJ for Apple Vacations this year, and has applied for scheduled RFD-CUN as well.

mariner
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dlramp4life
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:45 am

Quoting mariner (Reply 12):
Not this year.

How about GRR-CUN? I believe that is another Apple route
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mariner
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:56 am

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 13):
How about GRR-CUN? I believe that is another Apple route

I don't see it on the Apple Vacations list for this year.

This appears to be all the Apple schedules (there's a box top right to change to the different US airports) for the next few months, and presumably Frontier will take over ORD-CUN charter whether it gets the scheduled authority or not.

http://www.applevacations.com/flight-schedule/mdw-midway_ord-ohare/

The schedule hasn't been updated since the earlier end of USA3000 was announced, but Frontier has applied for ORD-PVR and ORD-SJD as scheduled for this winter, in conjunction with Apple, so, again, presumably, Frontier will fly those.

Curiously, Southwest has said it has "no objections" to SJD and PVR, which would cut out those two as potentials for it.

I assume (?) Frontier will fly both ORD-LIR and ORD-HUX for Apple in place of USA3000, as it flies DEN-LIR in conjunction with Apple already, and has flown DEN-HUX, and since Frontier is already slated for most of the ORD-MBJ flights, I guess it will take the rest.

Airtran is still doing some flying for Apple this winter (BWI, MKE and DTW for example) but I don't know how Southwest will feel about that.

mariner

[Edited 2011-12-07 18:59:58]
aeternum nauta
 
FWAERJ
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:16 am

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
since being the second largest air carrier in the Chicago market by offering 220 departures from MDW

American might want to tell Southwest about that bit of news...

Still, I'm not surprised by this move. And between Porter, Volaris, VivaAerobus, and now WN (FL), it sure looks like MDW's Customs facilities are going to get an intense workout.

[Edited 2011-12-07 19:18:26]
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Mexicana757
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:51 pm

Now for the waiting game who will get the route authority.   

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 15):
And between Porter, Volaris, VivaAerobus, and now WN (FL), it sure looks like MDW's Customs facilities are going to get an intense workout.

Maybe time to convert another gate to an FIS gate. I'm sure WN/FL have plans to add more international routes out of MDW than just MDW-CUN if they get it.
 
jetsetter629
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:07 pm

Quoting southloopswa (Reply 4):
It says the operation will be done by FL which only has 700s.

I know FL is operating the route, but isn't this really the only option for WN. If I recall, the problem is their 737s are not equipped for over-water routes. They have the hug the Florida cost closer than other airlines. Am I accurate?
 
southloopswa
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:37 pm

Quoting jetsetter629 (Reply 17):
They have the hug the Florida cost closer than other airlines. Am I accurate?

True, until WN gets the 800's with ETOPS. Is a flight to CUN ETOPS required? Anyone?
 
Atlwest1
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:49 pm

Quoting southloopswa (Reply 18):
True, until WN gets the 800's with ETOPS. Is a flight to CUN ETOPS required? Anyone?

It isnt a necessary requirement though depending where it originates it can help to save fuel to fly the diect overwater route. The 800 and id imagine the 12 FL 737-700 international birds(No difference in the cabin except 2 elts and 3 rafts,the differences are in the flt deck) will be the etops birds once its all said and done.

Quoting jetsetter629 (Reply 17):
I know FL is operating the route, but isn't this really the only option for WN. If I recall, the problem is their 737s are not equipped for over-water routes. They have the hug the Florida cost closer than other airlines. Am I accurate?

Correct. Their birds are also not equipped with the avionics nor are the WN pilots trained in international flt operations. Also the WN technology is ill equipped to handle international nor is it a requirement for fa's to have passports, current fa's that is, not the least they don't have the flag certification which is necessary. Once its all one certificate then it will be a very formidable new international carrier.

This is a question no one has asked. Will the wn certificate be merged into the FL certificate and renamed WN similar to UA? Or will it be the other way around? Also the maintenance certificate will it go the same way?
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co. or Airt
 
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United_fan
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:50 pm

Would it have to be with an 'overwater' FL 73,as WN doesnt have rafts?
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avi8
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:53 pm

How many 737's is WN getting next year?
avi8

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wnflyguy
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:03 pm

33 737-800 next year..the first 25 replace 25 737-500 that are being retired so a total of 8 planes added to the fleet as of now.But rumor is WN may now be picking up additional 15 737-800 on the used market to replace some 737-300 that are also due to be retired. wnfg  
my post are my opinion only and not those of southwest airlines and or airtran airlines.
 
steex
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:15 pm

Quoting southloopswa (Reply 18):
Is a flight to CUN ETOPS required?

No, ETOPS is not required to cross the Gulf of Mexico down to CUN. An "overwater" aircraft equipped with rafts would be necessary, though.
 
Atlwest1
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:30 pm

Quoting United_fan (Reply 20):
Would it have to be with an 'overwater' FL 73,as WN doesnt have rafts?

Sometimes CUN is flown with non raft 737's the routing would just need to be with in 50 miles of of any coast or suitable airport or something as such. The only cun FL routes that are always flown with raft planes are BWi-CUN and MKE-CUN also the new BWI-AUA-BWI BWI-SJU BWI-BDA BWI-PUJ BWI-MBJ ATL-SJU Atl-AUA ATL-BDA(which is suspended). Some of the subservice routes use these planes as well.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co. or Airt
 
southloopswa
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:09 pm

Quoting Atlwest1 (Reply 19):
It isnt a necessary requirement though depending where it originates it can help to save fuel to fly the diect overwater route.

Thanks, just what I thought.
 
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ADent
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:18 pm

Quoting steex (Reply 23):

Quoting southloopswa (Reply 18):
Is a flight to CUN ETOPS required?

No, ETOPS is not required to cross the Gulf of Mexico down to CUN. An "overwater" aircraft equipped with rafts would be necessary, though.
Quoting Atlwest1 (Reply 24):
Sometimes CUN is flown with non raft 737's the routing would just need to be with in 50 miles of of any coast or suitable airport or something as such.

WN planes have life vests and can fly 162nm from shore on US flights in southern waters. (Ref: SWA Extended Overwater Operations (by PlanenutzTB Jun 1 2006 in Civil Aviation) ) Looks like MDW-CUN would be farther than that though, unless FL-Cuba-CUN can work.
 
jetsetter629
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:08 pm

Quoting steex (Reply 23):
No, ETOPS is not required to cross the Gulf of Mexico down to CUN. An "overwater" aircraft equipped with rafts would be necessary, though.

Which is why DL uses MD80s and CR9s to routes in the Caribbean (MBJ, GCM), Mexico (CUN, CZM), and Central American (BZE, RTB). They are not ETOPS but have life rafts
 
Humberside
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:03 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 1):
And I think that's the entire story. DL won't apply for this authority (nor will anyone else),

Spirit?
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Mexicana757
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:11 pm

Quoting Humberside (Reply 28):
Spirit?

I have been wondering if they would apply for this route. Seeing how they have expanded out of ORD, I'm sure they would like to get their hands on a route like this.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:11 pm

Quoting Humberside (Reply 28):
Spirit?

Interesting question. They might, but I think WN has a significantly stronger application.
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LV
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:54 am

I can't believe F9 thought it could just grab this authority without anyone else trying to get it.
 
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mariner
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:03 am

Quoting LV (Reply 31):
I can't believe F9 thought it could just grab this authority without anyone else trying to get it.

Worth the try. After all, Airtran was polled and said it had no objection to Frontier getting the authority.

Then Southwest found out and had to change that. The Southwest letter is an interesting read, especially the last paragraph.

Click on pdf icon in this link:

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=DOT-OST-2011-0214-0003

So then Airtran had to change its mind and file for the route.

mariner
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ScottB
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:52 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 1):
DL won't apply for this authority (nor will anyone else)

You don't think NK, SY, or even B6 would apply?

Quoting mariner (Reply 32):
The Southwest letter is an interesting read, especially the last paragraph.

Well, that does seem to explain why FL had no objection originally.

Quoting mariner (Reply 6):
I'm puzzled that Frontier isn't simply buying the Brendan Airways AOC.

Yet another labor integration might have been a can of worms they were unwilling to open.

Quoting mariner (Reply 14):
Airtran is still doing some flying for Apple this winter (BWI, MKE and DTW for example) but I don't know how Southwest will feel about that.

Presumably Southwest will honor contracts AirTran might have entered into with Apple.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:18 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 33):
You don't think NK, SY, or even B6 would apply?

B6 doesn't care about Chicago. SY seems like a real long shot - do they serve Chicago in any capacity right now? I know it's not on their route map. NK, as I acknowledged above you, is an interesting question.
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LAXintl
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:11 pm

Well AirTran managed to disrupt the sly USA3000 > Frontier route transfer.

DOT ruled it will review and award the vacated USA3000 Cancun authority on a standalone basis separate from the other non contested Frontier Mexico authorities.
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Mexicana757
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:54 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 35):
DOT ruled it will review and award the vacated USA3000 Cancun authority on a standalone basis separate from the other non contested Frontier Mexico authorities.

I guess we should expect a ruling before Christmas?  
 
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mariner
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:56 pm

Quoting ScottB (Reply 33):
Presumably Southwest will honor contracts AirTran might have entered into with Apple.

Oh, I'm sure. Separately, I assume the Sun Country contracts for this winter - all of DFW and all of MSP and LAN - will go ahead as well.

I don't know if these contracts have a life to them, or whether they are year to year. The Frontier contract with Apple is for seven years initially.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 35):
Well AirTran managed to disrupt the sly USA3000 > Frontier route transfer.

Hmmm? Airtran had no objection. Southwest disrupted it. Right hand - left hand?

mariner
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yellowtail
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:07 pm

WN needs a gulf coast int'l hub to really get the balance of stage length, connections etc right.

If they can't get HAS to redo HOU to add and FIS...perhaps AUS or MSY? If MSY...SAP would have to be on their radar.
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slcdeltarumd11
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RE: Southwest(AirTran) Applies For MDW-CUN

Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:21 pm

on merit southwest should totally be awarded this since they will fly it daily and no doubt be successful

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