Southwest Airlines announced on Wednesday that they're coming to the Cincinnati/North Kentucky International Airport (CVG), following a previous announcement that would be leaving Dayton Airport. These expectations were confirmed in a press conference conducted by the airline at 3 PM.

Southwest Airlines Media Relations' Dan Landson emailed "WPCO" of Cincinnati -- prior to the airline's formal announcement, only saying that they were working on setting up new service for Southwest in Ohio. The news source reports that the airlines will be ending its service with Dayton on June 3, where CVG tantalized the airline from by offering new incentives which began in the first week of January.

CVG incentives lure incoming Southwest

The incentives mentioned are to waive the gate, ticket counter, and landing fees, which CVG also offered to other airlines. Reports say that that this could include marketing support, which the airport says their board had approved $150,000 for.

The incentives are made to help the airport target new markets where they know there is strong demand but for which there are no direct flying routes. Bobby Spann, who is the airport's vice president of external affairs, identified nine markets such as Dallas, Oakland, and Portland, to name three. Currently, CVG has become one of North America's leading airports for cargo as it holds a hub for the German-based international express mail service company DHL.

Prior to this move, the report says that CVG has tried to gain footing in a competitive market after Delta Airlines removed their hub from their airport. In this case, Southwest would fill in the gap and keep the airport in the game. CVG's director of air service development Adam Kressler describes the hustle to luring other airlines to their airport as "speed dating," because they only have a small amount of time (10 minutes) to interest a carrier such as Southwest Airlines, to persuade them to set up a hub with them.

Prior to these sessions, they have not had incentives to give when most of the time the airline company would ask about such incentives, which until recently guaranteed a much shorter conversation.

Now the airport feels that while their approach is not as aggressive as that of their competitors, it is still a good program and that it at least gets them to the table, matching dollar amounts with their competition. According to the airport's website, over the last 27-months, CVG's local passenger growth has exceeded to 500,000 (that includes connecting passengers which is especially positive for the holidays).

Southwest sad to leave Dayton

Dan Landson described the adjustment Southwest Airlines had to make when leaving Dayton, saying that it was not an easy decision but are working to find positions within their network for their employees who are impacted by the move.

But this was not an overnight decision, as Southwest had already reduced their flights out of Dayton by 16 percent, since November 2015.

According to the Dayton Daily News, Terrence Slaybaugh who is the director of Aviation at the Dayton Airport, says that Southwest Airlines leaving is part of a growing trend where the airlines are focusing on larger hub markets. It is in this case that he understands the competitive environment as CVG does. He acknowledges that they're unable to compete in their small to medium-size market.

Their report refers to departures to and from Chicago Midway, which he says will not be impacted as American and United make eight to nine flights a day to O'Hare International Airport, as opposed to Southwest Airlines' three.

It also refers to 2012 when the airline approached Dayton, spending $1 million. In May the following year, however, Frontier Airlines discontinued service at the airport and -- much like Southwest Airlines, made the switch over to CVG.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!