DALLAS, April 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), California's largest carrier* is embarking on a new chapter in a faithful partnership with Southern California travelers that began with a single arrival nearly 35 years ago and now, takes flight beyond the continental U.S. Today, the departure of Southwest® Flight 6920 to Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR), Liberia/Guanacaste, Costa Rica makes Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Southwest's 13th mainland gateway serving Latin America and the Caribbean.
During an early afternoon news conference in the newly renovated Southwest ticket lobby at Terminal 1, Southwest LAX Employees welcomed Customers bound for Central America. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated Southwest's inaugural international service alongside Los Angeles World Airports CEO Deborah Flint and Southwest Airlines Vice President Corporate Planning and Financial Planning and Analysis Paul Cullen.
"Connecting Los Angeles to Costa Rica's growing resort and ecotourism region brings to the market a value only Southwest can offer," said Cullen. "Our service to Liberia/Guanacaste marks the beginning of our international story here at LAX, as we continue to explore more destinations for our L.A. Basin Customers."
"Today, the first Southwest flight destined for Costa Rica will depart from LAX, our city's economic engine and gateway to the world," said Mayor Garcetti. "The airline's first international route out of L.A. will strengthen the exchange of cultures and commerce that makes this such a diverse, and dynamic, global city."
"As the busiest origin and destination airport in the world, LAX's partnership with Southwest helps to create additional choices for travelers," said Board of Airport Commissioners President Sean Burton. "Today's launch of international service to Liberia, Costa Rica helps to ensure that we are maintaining a strong base of service and airline market profile."
The carrier's initial flight schedule of one flight daily in each direction also brings connectivity between Liberia/Guanacaste and cities on the Southwest network, including Oakland, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. A brand standard with Southwest for more than four decades, every seat on every flight comes with an unparalleled combination of reliable Customer Service and value.
"Southwest passengers arriving for their international flight to Costa Rica will experience the already transformed Terminal 1, as part of the $508 million dollars being invested in Terminal 1," said LAWA Chief Executive Office Deborah Flint. "Passengers can expect fresh, modern facilities; amenities such as new seating with chargers; and new dining and shopping opportunities which all speak to our focus on providing an exceptional experience."
Southwest Airlines began flying to California in 1982 and now serves nine airports in the Golden State, with service beginning at its tenth California airport, Long Beach (LGB), on June 5. Offering more daily departures in California than any other airline, 324 of those flights will take off and land within the state this summer, connecting 20 unique city-pair combinations within California. Southwest's ten California airports will offer Customers a combined peak weekday schedule of 683 departures a day to destinations across the United States, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
The carrier offers Southern California Customers international service from Orange County/Santa Ana (SNA) and LAX. Southwest first began serving Liberia/Guanacaste, Costa Rica, on Nov. 1, 2015, from Houston Hobby's brand new five-gate international terminal. Click here for images of Southwest Airlines' first landing at LIR.
*Southwest Airlines is the largest carrier in terms of both air travelers journeying within the state and of passengers traveling to/from California based on the latest statistics reported by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
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.