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Nonstop flights from Northwest Arkansas National Airport to San Antonio and New Orleans take off for the first time on Thursday.

Breeze Airways announced the new service in May, and Northwest Arkansas travelers have eagerly awaited the first flights to those two cities. The flights will occur every Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday.

While low-cost carrier Breeze connects many travelers to Tampa and New Orleans from many cities, its nonstop service to San Antonio is far more exclusive. Only Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Northwest Arkansas will have nonstop flights on Breeze to the Texas city.

Meanwhile, flights on Breeze to New Orleans and Tampa arrive from 10 cities. The Tampa service from XNA started June 17.

Breeze airfares to the three destinations from XNA remain fantastic. In August and September, it’s possible to travel roundtrip to New Orleans, San Antonio or Tampa for $100 to $150, depending on the days of travel.

The San Antonio flight leaves XNA at 5:20 p.m. on the four days. The trip to New Orleans starts at 9:25 p.m.

FareflightNWA found a few event-specific reasons later this year to fly to the two new destinations from XNA. These are our favorites:

  • Razorback football, anyone? The New Orleans airport is just 60 miles from the Louisiana State University football stadium in Baton Rouge. The University of Arkansas plays there Saturday, Nov. 13, and Breeze has flights leaving on that Thursday and Friday. You’d return home on that Sunday or Monday. for what it’s worth Yardbarker – whatever that is – says the LSU stadium is one of the nation’s 25 best.
  • Lights at Night. San Antonio’s Ford Parade of Lanterns involves 26-foot boats filled with large lanterns that float through the downtown section of the River Walk after dark. It looks awesome and occurs Aug. 27-29 and again Sept. 3-5.
  • Jazz Fest. It’s in New Orleans on two weekends, Oct. 8-10 and Oct. 15-17. Stevie Nicks. Jimmy Buffett. Dead & Company. Demi Lovato. Ludacris. Lizzo. We’re pretty sure there’s music for you to love on either weekend. The October fares on Breeze before and after those two weekends (the festival is Friday, Saturday, Sunday) isn’t any different than normal, which is a definite plus.