CBS 11 Header TXA 21 Header MeTV Header KRLD Header The Fan Header

Local

Southwest Airlines Announces International Destinations For The First Time

View Comments
(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
Jack moved to Dallas after three years at WESH-TV, the NBC affil...
Read More

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

From Our CBS Music Web Sites

kluvs super 70s weekend voting 1979 dl Southwest Airlines Announces International Destinations For The First TimePick The Best Song From 1979

115245513 8 Southwest Airlines Announces International Destinations For The First TimeCrush Of The Day: Mila Kunis

80219448 Southwest Airlines Announces International Destinations For The First TimeViral Video: Hilarious Southwest Safety Announcement

155742164 Southwest Airlines Announces International Destinations For The First TimePick Your Favorite Victoria Secret Model

Featured Items

Fantasy_tileHottest Olympians

pet_tileYour Pet Photos

weather_tileSend Us Your Weather Photos

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - It was a different kind of drum roll that welcomed what Southwest Airlines called a “historic day and terrific milestone.”

To the sound of steel drums, the Dallas-based carrier announced that starting in July, travelers will be able to fly on Southwest internationally — for the first time in its 43 year history.

The airline will fly nonstop to Aruba, Jamaica and The Bahamas. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly CBS 11 News, “Huge, this is huge.”

The nonstop service will include: Atlanta to Aruba and Montego Bay, Jamaica; Baltimore to Aruba, Nassau in the Bahamas, and Montego Bay (twice daily), and Orlando to Aruba and Montego Bay.

Notice Dallas Love Field isn’t on that list, and it won’t be because of the agreement to end flight restrictions, known as the Wright Amendment, on October 13.

But Kelly remains upbeat. “Dallas will do fine. We’ll have not as good as a nonstop, but the next best thing. You’ll have good low fares, and certainly, bring a lot of competition to DFW Airport which is what we’re all in favor of.”

Southwest’s new international service for now will continue to be operated on Air Tran, which is in the process of being integrated into Southwest.

Air Tran will continue flying to Mexico and The Dominican Republic through the end of the year.

Southwest says it will consider expanding next year to other international destinations where other airlines charge higher fares.

Mark Drusch, a former executive at Delta and Continental Airlines, says Southwest has a lot of potential. “If Southwest really believes it can go in and lower the fares, consumers will benefit greatly.”

Drusch says flying international routes may be historic for Southwest, but is certainly not groundbreaking. “They are actually playing catch-up to the rest of the industry which is unusual because Southwest usually leads the industry.”

I asked Southwest’s CEO if the airline’s new international flights are a bold step or conservative.

Kelly said, “So there’s a time to be measured and patient and there’s time to be aggressive. This is new and I think we are humble enough to realize we have some things to learn. We want to make sure we sustain our profitability.”

At the end of next year, Southwest will offer nonstop international flights from Houston Hobby Airport. Drusch believes Southwest will grow its international network through Houston and Phoenix in the future.

Kelly says for now, they are not considering buying larger aircraft, but he wouldn’t rule it out in the long term.

Just last year, Southwest took delivery of its largest jets, the Boeing 737-800.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Latest News:

Top Trending:

View Comments