Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Southwest Airlines announces flights to Caribbean

By: Associated Press
January 27, 2014 Updated: January 27, 2014 at 6:20 pm
0
photo -

DALLAS — Southwest Airlines Co. is expanding beyond the continental United States with flights to the Caribbean beginning July 1.

The airline began selling tickets on Monday for flights to Aruba, the Bahamas and Jamaica from Atlanta, Baltimore and Orlando. Those routes are currently flown by AirTran Airways, which Southwest bought in 2011.

Southwest carries more passengers in the United States than any airline, but among the largest U.S. carriers, it alone doesn't fly beyond the nation's borders. Southwest has been talking about going international for years, but it's been held back by technological limits to its reservations system, which it has been upgrading.

Later this year, Southwest is expected to take over four AirTran destinations in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. It eventually plans to add international flights from Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and possibly other U.S. cities, but executives said that they probably won't announce details about those routes until 2015 or later.

AirTran's international flights account for less than 1 percent of the parent company's passenger-carrying capacity, and that won't change with Monday's announcement about some flights switching from AirTran planes to Southwest ones. Chief commercial officer Bob Jordan said, however, that international flying is "a big part of our growth strategy" and could someday involve 70 to 80 Southwest aircraft.

Dallas-based Southwest plans to phase out the AirTran brand by year end.

Shares of Southwest slipped 13 cents to $20.70 in afternoon trading. Most other airline stocks were also lower on a rise in oil prices.

Comment Policy
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.