Southwest Airlines (Dallas) for the first time will operate a summer Saturday schedule of 104 scheduled flights among a dozen airports in the continental United States and ten cities across the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.
At Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) near San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, Southwest flight 394 touched down on June 13 from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), and was welcomed with a ceremonial water arch and a reception at the gate. The nonstop service to/from BWI and the international airport in Baja California Sur operates weekly on Saturdays, and is the carrier’s fourth nonstop market to the Cabo San Lucas region.
The carrier began service in its 95th city, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, via Lic. Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) on Sunday, June 7, with daily, nonstop service to/from Orange County/Santa Ana (SNA) and connecting points across the U.S. The carrier has also announced daily, nonstop service between PVR and both Denver and Houston (Hobby). The Ministers of Tourism for both Mexican States of Jalisco and Nayarit are expected to welcome Southwest Airlines in its first month of serving Puerto Vallarta on June 18, the carrier’s 44th birthday.
Southwest spread its wings beyond the 48 contiguous United States in April 2013 with service to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The carrier’s international operations began less than a year ago on July 1, 2014, and include daily, near-international or longer-distance/over-water flights from a dozen gateway cities: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago (Midway), Denver, Houston (Hobby), Fort Lauderdale, Milwaukee, Orange County/Santa Ana, Orlando, San Antonio, and Tampa Bay. Southwest offers service between the U.S. mainland and San Juan, Puerto Rico, along with these destinations in six countries: Cancun, Mexico City, San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; San Jose, Costa Rica; Oranjestad, Aruba; Nassau, The Bahamas; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Next up for Southwest is previously announced scheduled service to the carrier’s seventh near-international country and 96th destination, Belize City, Belize, made possible by a $156 million international terminal facility at Houston (Hobby) scheduled to open October 15, 2015. Then, on November 1, Southwest begins previously announced scheduled service between Houston and the carrier’s 97th city, Liberia, Costa Rica. Both routes are subject to foreign government approval.
Top Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-7H4 N909WN (msn 32458) in the special Beats Music motif arrives at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI).
Route Map: Southwest Airlines’ foreign expansion to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean (click on the map for the larger view):