Southwest Airlines has filed an application with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to expand its flights to Mexico.
The airline filed to begin service from Los Angeles to Cancun and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos twice daily, and once daily to Puerto Vallarta, all beginning November 6, 2016.
“We’ve committed aircraft resources to serve these important trans-border routes at the start of the winter season and are asking that Southwest be allowed to add its low-fare, bags fly free, no change fee* competition and legendary Customer Service to benefit consumers in the U.S. and Mexico,” said Gary Kelly, Chairman, President & CEO of Southwest Airlines.
Southwest’s application comes at an interim period while the governments of Mexico and the United States finalize the Aviation Agreement between the two countries. The airline says its new service to Mexico can reduce fares on the route by up to 20% from that of competitors. The new flights could also increase the number of traffic by up to 500,000 passengers per year.
Currently, Southwest offers international service to Liberia, Costa Rica from Los Angeles (LAX) and serves Mexico from eight U.S. cities. The airline will begin selling tickets only on its website once the application is approved. In the last two years, Southwest has greatly expanded its international network, thanks in part to its new reservation system built by Amadeus. The airline has also added a new international terminal at Hobby Airport in Houston, and hopes to add something similar in Ft. Lauderdale in 2017.
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