Southwest Airlines have become well known for their low-cost American domestic flights. Southwest, who have now been in operation for 43 years, often reminded the world that they were ‘America’s largest domestic airline’, however, all of that is about to change.
As of yesterday, the Dallas based airline will now fly to Aruba, Jamaica and the Bahamas. From the tenth of August, further destinations will be included, such as Mexico.
The expansion destinations will mean further competition for other low-cost carriers who will now feel the pressure to compete with the lower fares. Southwest Airlines had become the largest low-cost carrier for passengers within the US, and after 43 years of conquering America, the time has now come for the airline to expand to the rest of the world.
Southwest executive, Teresa Laraba has said; ‘Obviously we’ve been waiting for 43 years to get to this point. It’s a pretty big deal. It’s such an opportunity for us to plant our name and flag in international waters, and we’ve never done it. We are pretty excited around this place.’
The exciting news for the airline, has however, been overshadowed by the sad news that the co-founder of Southwest, Rollin King, has passed away aged 83. Mr King, was said to have outlined the entire Southwest Airlines business plan on a cocktail napkin.
This expansion is the just the beginning for the airline, who plan to continue in their expansion. Their CEO, Gary Kelly, has said; ‘We have a lot of flights in a lot of places. So unlike our legacy competition — where they have three or four focal points in the United States — we’ve got 30. So we’ll have international flights from an array of markets and more than what we’re serving from today.’