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Southwest Leaving Dayton for Cincinnati

Southwest Airlines

Low-cost airline Southwest is landing in Cincinnati. The carrier says it will begin flying from CVG to Chicago and Baltimore June 4.Southwest's Dave Harvey says the airline will offer eight daily flights, five to Chicago Midway and three to Baltimore-Washington.

CVG officials have been pursing the popular carrier for several years. The business community, including groups like REDI, were involved in sealing the deal with Southwest.

In fact, Harvey says, the strong corporate connections were the main factor in Southwest choosing CVG. "There's a lot of big companies like your Kroger, your Macys, P&Gs. We [were] able to work directly with those firms and establish some travel arrangements that are really going to help us get off the ground quickly."

Harvey says Southwest will employ a local workforce.

While a boon for the Cincinnati region, the move is a loss for Dayton where Southwest is pulling out of the market.

In a statement, Dayton Director of Aviation Terrence Slaybaugh says, "Although we hate to lose any airline service, especially one that the community has been very supportive of, we realize the volatility of the industry and the current trend of airlines to focus on hubs."

Slaybaugh says that trend has meant "smaller to medium-size markets including Dayton have been losing routes."

Southwest will cease operations at DAY in June 2017. Harvey says Dayton-based employees can apply for other positions within the company.

Dayton International says Wednesday's announcement doesn't affect the number of markets with non-stop service from the Gem City.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.