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Southwest Airlines begins flying to Milwaukee; other airlines drop fares

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MILWAUKEE (WSAU) Some big changes are being made at Wisconsin’s largest airport. Southwest Airlines began flying out Milwaukee yesterday – and that’s caused fares to drop at Mitchell International.

Kayak-Dot-Com says flights out of Milwaukee cost an average of 20-percent less than a year ago. And Orbitz says outgoing flights from Mitchell dropped 21-percent for bookings from the day after Labor Day to the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, Mitchell’s most popular carrier – Midwest Airlines – will land its final Boeing-717 jet tonight. Midwest’s new owner, Republic Airways, is replacing the planes with smaller jets and less expensive crews. And Midwest’s wide leather seats will become a thing of the past.

Midwest once had 50-percent of Milwaukee’s flights. That’s down to 35-percent, after Midwest cut some of its routes. Republic is in the process of bringing them back. Meanwhile, Air-Tran has become Milwaukee’s second most popular carrier, replacing Northwest which has been merging with Delta.

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