Southwest Airlines says it will launch service from Boston to Denver with two daily nonstop round-trips starting Jan. 10.
The announcement marks the second addition the Dallas-based, lower-price carrier has made to its offering of destinations at Logan International Airport since it began service here Aug. 16.
Southwest has begun taking reservations for flights and is offering introductory fares from Boston to the Denver International Airport as low as $99 each way.
Airline representatives say that the speedy addition of flights is a result of the fact that Boston "continues to exceed our expectations.''
But they also note that the move is part of a push the carrier is making into the Denver market. Besides Boston, Southwest also plans to to add one daily nonstop from Denver to Spokane, Wash., and one to Reno/Tahoe.
"Denver, like Boston, is a good market for Southwest,'' said Rick Seaney, chief executive of Farecompare.com, an airfare comparison shopping site. . "There are a lot of business customers there. They think they can go head-to-head with United,'' which is the top dog in Denver.
This summer Southwest made a $170 million bid to buy Denver-based Frontier Airlines, eventually losing out to Republic Airways. Had Southwest been successful, the deal would have combined the number two and number three carriers in Denver and left Southwest with 36 percent of passengers there, compared with about 37 percent for United, airline analyst Darryl Jenkins of The Airline Zone told a local Denver television station.
"We have been competing with Southwest in a number of cities for a number of years,'' said Robin Urbanski, a spokeswoman for United. "The key for us has been to offer competitive pricing and better service.''
"We think Denver is a vibrant market with both a number of business and leisure customers,'' said Chris Mainz, a Southwest spokesman. "It also make sense in our schedule for customers going coast to coast or anywhere east to west. And to be a player there we need a significant presence if we're to be at all successful.''