By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — The coronavirus pandemic may have hit the travel industry hard, but Southwest Airlines is expanding.

On Sunday, the carrier started flights out of O’Hare International Airport.

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Initial routes include Dallas, Baltimore, Phoenix, Denver, and Nashville.

A total of 16 flights a day will leave out of three gates at the International Terminal at O’Hare. Look for additional flights to Orlando net month.

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Transportation experts said the move by Southwest might drive down airfares for travelers.

“Southwest is getting more bold going into these big hubs – taking their piece of the pie,” said DePaul University transportation expert Joe Schwieterman, “and that’s good for consumers – a little more price competition.”

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Southwest will still maintain its major hub out of Midway International Airport.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff