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Southwest May Fly to Long Island

November 4, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Southwest Airlines, the nation’s biggest budget airline, will begin flying to Long Island’s MacArthur Airport next year in a move that could lead to cheaper fares for travel to the New York area, The Wall Street Journal reported today.

Flights into and out of MacArthur, in Islip, will begin in March or April, said the Journal, citing people familiar with the carrier’s plans.

Southwest is expected to create its own Washington-Boston shuttle linking Baltimore, MacArthur, Providence, R.I., and Manchester, N.H. It also is likely to fly from Islip to Chicago, Florida and the West Coast through Nashville or Kansas City, Mo., the Journal said.

MacArthur is located about 40 miles east of New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

The introduction of a budget airline in New York could translate into big savings for consumers. An unrestricted business ticket on USAir or Delta shuttles from New York to Boston or Washington costs $202 each way. Southwest is likely to charge about $70 each way, the newspaper said.

A spokesman for Dallas-based Southwest, the seventh-largest carrier in the nation, told the Journal that Islip is ``one of the 160 cities we are reviewing.″ The spokesman, who was not identified, said an announcement would be made before the end of the year.

Islip Town Supervisor Pete McGowan, who oversees the airport, would only say the town was ``in discussions″ with Southwest.

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