A Southwest Airlines plane takes off from Long Beach Airport Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Southwest Airlines announced Thursday that it will offer daily nonstop flights from Long Beach Airport to Kansas City International Airport in Missouri beginning March 9.

The daily flights will depart Long Beach at 1:20 p.m. and arrive at the Show-Me State at 6:30 p.m. Return flights will depart Missouri at 11:25 a.m., landing in Long Beach at 12:40 p.m.

The March launch will coincide with the completion of a new 39-gate terminal at the Kansas City airport—the single-largest infrastructure project in the city’s history, according to officials. The $1.5 billion terminal features dedicated arrival and departure levels, an adjacent parking garage, moving walkways and consolidated checkpoints for a better passenger experience.

Construction on the roughly 1 million-square-foot terminal broke ground in April 2019.

“We welcome Southwest adding more flight options for LGB travelers and providing a connection between Long Beach and the beautiful new facilities being unveiled at Kansas City International Airport,” Long Beach Airport Director Cynthia Guidry said in a statement.

Southwest began flying out of Long Beach in 2016 and became the airport’s largest carrier following the departure of JetBlue in 2020. Since then, the airline has continued to accrue additional flight slots and introduce new routes.

Kansas City is the latest in a string of new routes Southwest has unveiled for Long Beach. Earlier this month, the airline began service to New Orleans and Salt Lake City. In July, the carrier will begin its first East Coast route out of Long Beach when it begins service to Orlando.

Southwest currently holds 40 of the airport’s 53 allocated daily flight slots, with nonstop service to 18 U.S. cities. The carrier is likely to acquire several more when five additional slots are allocated in the coming months.

Southwest begins service to New Orleans out of LGB

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Business Journal.