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Southwest Airlines starting up in Dayton

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CINCINNATI - Southwest Airlines is finally making it official.

After months of speculation, the discount carrier has just announced it plans to fly daily routes out of Dayton, Ohio.

The airline has chosen Dayton to become one of its new destinations following last year's merger with AirTran.

On August 12, Southwest will start a daily roundtrip to and from Denver, with connecting flights to the west coast.

This fall, Southwest will convert its remaining Airtran planes to Southwest planes, with direct flights from Dayton to Baltimore, Atlanta, Tampa, and Orlando.

Southwest is ending service to a number of AirTran markets. The Business Journal says Dayton city leaders lobbied Southwest hard to keep flying out of Dayton once the merger was completed.

This is good news for Cincinnati area travelers, who have had to drive two hours to Indianapolis or Louisville to catch Southwest flights. The Dayton airport is about one hour from downtown Cincinnati.

However, there is one downside: airline analysts say this makes it less likely Southwest will schedule flights to Cincinnati (CVG) in the future.

As always, don't waste your money.

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