For the first time ever, Southwest Airlines announced that it will be offering international flights starting on July 1st. Flights will be available to Aruba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas via Atlanta, Baltimore, and Orlando.
Even though Southwest acquired AirTran back in 2011 to try to get into the international game, the announcement was a historic one since the carrier (begun 43 years ago) is the largest domestic carrier in the U.S. AirTran will continue its international services, but by the end of the year, they will all be under the direction of Southwest; the carrier plans to have 96 destinations in six countries by the end of 2014.
In an article by USA Today, Southwest’s vice president and chief commercial officer, Bob Jordan, said, “It’s a very substantial opportunity for Southwest Airlines. … It’s a big, big component of our growth strategy.”
Having these flights available is good news for fliers because it gives the carriers that already serve that area (like jetBlue and Delta) more competition; and when it comes to the airline industry, more competition means lower prices for consumers.
How to get there:
Atlanta to: Aruba (daily), Jamaica (daily)
Baltimore to: Aruba (daily), Jamaica (twice daily), the Bahamas (daily)
Orlando to: Aruba (Saturdays only), Jamaica (Saturdays only)