By Anne Meyer
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
5:21 PM CST, November 13, 2012
One low cost carrier leaves Wichita this week, and Southwest Airlines is supposed to come to town next year. But we still don't know where it will fly.
Wichita traveler LIsa Gabler is flying to Florida, by way of Atlanta. It's a city she visits often.
"I work for Cox Communications and our corporate headquarters is Atlanta and so AirTran gets us a direct flight there," Gabler said.
Next year, expect the AirTran name to be replaced by its new owner Southwest. Only it hasn't announced yet which routes it will fly in and out of Wichita.
"Southwest is known for rolling out their destinations on their schedule, not others," said Wichita State University Aviation Expert Dean Headley.
Headley says travelers should know more after the new year and ahead of the summer travel season.
"People are flying, volumes are up," Headley said. "This travel season is going to be as high or higher than they were a year ago, I don't think Southwest wants to miss that."
"I think that would be good," said Wichita traveler Mary Stockemer. "I think the more the better, I think we should have a lot of options."
Wichita is losing one low cost carrier this week. Frontier Airlines was offering two flights to Denver a day, but that service will stop on Friday.
A market like Wichita needs a low cost carrier to keep prices competitive. Southwest will certainly help, but Headley knows keeping Southwest in the Air Capital isn't a guarentee.
"If we don't fly that airline, they can leave just as quickly as they come," Headley said.
Copyright © 2013, KWCH-TV