DALLAS, March 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today announced more than 25,000 individuals have signed a petition to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), registering their support of the carrier's application to serve Cuba. Southwest® has proposed service among three international airports in Cuba, including Havana, and three Florida airports: Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL); Tampa Bay International Airport (TPA); and Orlando International Airport (MCO). As the largest carrier of domestic passengers in the United States*, the proposed nonstop flights would provide convenient connecting access to Cuba for dozens of cities across the United States on the Southwest Airlines network.
Earlier this month, Southwest filed an application with the DOT requesting governmental approval to serve Cuba with daily nonstop flights from the carrier's three busiest airports in Florida. Since that initial application on March 2, 2016, Southwest has received 120+ letters of support from local, regional, and national organizations, including Orlando, Inc., South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Tampa Bay Partnership, United States Black Chamber of Commerce, United States Business Leaders Network, and United States Hispanic Leadership Institute.
At the filing deadline, 25,083 individual supporters endorsed Southwest's DOT application by visiting Southwest.com/Cuba to petition U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. These individuals consist of a diverse voice of tens of thousands of citizens across the country supporting Southwest's low-fare competition and Customer-friendly travel options to Cuba.
Upon approval of the routes in the DOT frequency allocation process, Southwest will publish its low fares and flight schedules for Cuba service and intends to begin operations to Cuba later this year.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 45th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 49,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest proudly operates a network of 97 destinations across the United States and seven additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season.
*Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity. That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as more than 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created Transfarency℠, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look: Heart. The new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo, showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what's important in their lives.
From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets. With 43 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2014 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at SouthwestOneReport.com.
Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at Southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.
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SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.