DALLAS – Southwest Airlines (WN) has announced its 12th US crew base at Nashville International Airport (BNA). The Dallas-based carrier will initially base 15-200 pilots from the second quarter of 2024. It plans to grow this number to 500-600 and between 500 to 700 flight attendants.
The new base at BNA joins the carrier’s other crew bases in Atlanta (ATL), Baltimore (BWI), Dallas (DAL), Denver (DEN), Chicago (MDW), Houston (HOU), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland (OAK), Orlando (MCO) and Phoenix (PHX). After launching services to BNA in 1986, the airline currently operates 166 daily departures on 57 routes.
Southwest also plans to add four gates during Q4 2023 “to support its operation with a goal of 20 gates total by the end of the year to serve future Customers flying in and out of Nashville.”
“Love for Nashville”
Andrew Watterson, COO at WN, said, “Hundreds of Southwest Employees who work in the air and on the ground already consider their hometown to be in Middle Tennessee, with our presence in Nashville remaining a key factor to our success, future growth, and the Reliability of our network.
“Given our love for Nashville and the critical importance it plays in our network, it’s a natural choice to make further investments by adding a Crew Base and doubling down on our commitment to Music City.”
Doug Kreulen, president and CEO of Nashville International Airport added, “This is an outstanding and momentous announcement that truly reflects our valuable partnership with Southwest Airlines and signifies our shared vision of elevating travel to new heights.
“Southwest Airlines’ dedication to safety, service, and innovation perfectly aligns with our commitment to providing our customers with an unparalleled experience, and we’re thrilled for this expansion.”
However, the airline is currently locked in tense pay negotiations with its flight crew which began in 2020. Earlier this year, members of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) voted to take strike action, with 99% of those that took part in the ballot agreeing to strike action.
Featured Image: Southwest Airlines N922WN Boeing 737-700 (Tennessee One Livery). Photo: Luca Flores/Airways.