Southwest is expanding and heading over international waters as of July this year.
Moving beyond US airspace, Southwest will soon be flying to three Caribbean destinations in time for Summer. Southwest began selling tickets yesterday for Aruba, the Bahamas and Jamaica from Atlanta, Baltimore and Orlando. This was a long awaited move as the routes are currently flown by AirTran Airways which Southwest bought in 2011.
Hold ups before hand were down to technological limits on the airlines’ reservation system which has since been upgraded. Additional training and equipment was also required to fly to international destinations, for example, flotation devices.
Chief commercial officer Bob Jordan said, however, that international flying is “a big part of our growth strategy.”
By the end of the year, Southwest officials said they planned to serve 96 destinations in six countries, including all the international stops now served by AirTran.