Southwest Airlines announced today that this June they will be flying into Ford International Airport.

Southwest, last year, had acquired Air Tran Airways who currently flies out of Ford, so speculation was high that Southwest would begin service here.  Earlier this year they confirmed that they would, but weren't sure when.  Now, it on the calendar.

The addition of Southwest will certainly strengthen the market.  Since the time AirTran entered the market in 2009, it has helped save travelers to Ford International Airport $45 million dollars, due to lower airfares and improved flight schedules.  AirTran will become Southwest once the merger is complete.

The good news for travelers is that the average airfare is down 9 percent over the same time period, from $418 to $380. Ford's airfares have gone from second worst in the country, to 31st worst.  That's now 'middle of the pack' and the addition of Southwest will certainly drive those numbers down even further.  Ford International Airport has closed the gap on Chicago O'Hare and Detroit Metro Airport over the past two years, as well.

Ford International hopes the statistics will help convince business leaders that they don't need to drive to those cities to fly out for business trips, especially with Southwest coming to town.