Aviation News

June 27, 2009

Southwest Arrives at LaGuardia!

Photo by Southwest, via Twitpic
Photo by Southwest, via Twitpic
N939WN arrives from Dallas as Southwest 8375, the first ferry flight to LGA. (Photo by Matt Molnar)

N939WN arrives from Dallas as Southwest 8375, the first ferry flight to LGA. (Photo by Matt Molnar)

The gates are ready. The staff are ready. All we need now are some planes. Those will be here soon: We are now only hours away from Southwest Airlines’ highly anticipated entrance into the New York City market.

Service to Baltimore (BWI) and Chicago Midway (MDW) will begin Sunday morning, but the first two Southwest aircraft are expected to arrive at LaGuardia Airport this afternoon, sometime around 3pm. 25 lucky contest winners will be flying up from BWI on the maiden flight thanks to a promotion the airline announced via Twitter.

Thanks to the closure of runway 13/31 scheduled to last all day Saturday, along with favorable forecast winds, there is a good chance you will be able to see these birds arriving on Runway 4 from Planeview Park. Check out the LGA Spotting Guide for directions. (It is also possible the airport will be using Runway 22 for arrivals, which would make them visible from the Bronx, but likely too high for great photos. Call LGA ATIS to find out which runway is in use: 718-478-6070.

Southwest's ferry from DAL crosses the Grand Central Parkway on short final for LGA runway 4. Under the left wing is LGA's beautiful old control tower, on the right side you see its replacement under construction. (Photo by Matt Molnar)

Southwest’s ferry from DAL crosses the Grand Central Parkway on short final for LGA runway 4. Under the left wing is LGA’s beautiful old control tower, on the right side you see its replacement under construction. (Photo by Matt Molnar)

UPDATE 6:35PM

  • 8726 just touched down on Runway 4 from BWI. Landing on 4 from BWI makes for some quick flights…8726 was in the air only 31 minutes!

UPDATE 6:10PM

  • Just discovered N939WN is actually Southwest’s newest plane, delivered just a few days ago.
  • SWA 8726 is in the air enroute to LGA for a 6:30ish arrival, but some approaching thunderstorms could make things interesting.

UPDATE 4:49PM

The eagle has landed! N939WN touched down at 4:08pm! See photo above.

UPDATE 3:00PM

  • Barring a wind shift, things are looking good for continued Runway 4 operations this afternoon.
  • SWA 8725 is in the air, on its way to LGA from DAL. ETA 4:20pm local time. Track it on FlightAware.
  • The flight from BWI, SWA 8726, is scheduled for a 6:00pm departure according to BWI’s flight status page, which should mean a 7:00pm arrival.







  • Miller roberts

    I will be on the flight from Baltimore. I am so excited.

  • ChrisNH

    This will be a very interesting period of time for Southwest. The only cities having been added to their map are large ones, and complicated ones. Indeed, the major network carriers are in no real position to contest anything that the LCCs do these days. That's why Southwest proudly marched themselves into LGA, MKE, BOS, MSP et al. Years ago, the majors (read: AA) would have taken umbrage at the 'little upstarts' and vanquished them in short order. With finances in disarray and no appetite to grow, the majors are getting sand kicked right back at them. JetBlue is doing the same out west, figuring they can jettison Long Beach for LAX without nary a whimper from the majors. Look for this trend to continue.

    I wish Southwest well at LaGuardia. And what of Islip? That seems to have been a grand experiment with all sorts of promise. But did the station realize their potential? If not, then the addition of LGA won't help them realize it. In much the same way, we're wondering what will happen to us (Manchester) once Southwest comes to Boston.

  • ChrisNH

    This will be a very interesting period of time for Southwest. The only cities having been added to their map are large ones, and complicated ones. Indeed, the major network carriers are in no real position to contest anything that the LCCs do these days. That's why Southwest proudly marched themselves into LGA, MKE, BOS, MSP et al. Years ago, the majors (read: AA) would have taken umbrage at the 'little upstarts' and vanquished them in short order. With finances in disarray and no appetite to grow, the majors are getting sand kicked right back at them. JetBlue is doing the same out west, figuring they can jettison Long Beach for LAX without nary a whimper from the majors. Look for this trend to continue.

    I wish Southwest well at LaGuardia. And what of Islip? That seems to have been a grand experiment with all sorts of promise. But did the station realize their potential? If not, then the addition of LGA won't help them realize it. In much the same way, we're wondering what will happen to us (Manchester) once Southwest comes to Boston.

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