Southwest Airlines To Offer International Service Between Los Angeles (LAX) And Liberia, Costa Rica

Carrier will fly daily to Central America from LAX Terminal 2 beginning Spring 2016

Dec 09, 2015, 16:15 ET from Southwest Airlines Co.

DALLAS, Dec. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today announced plans to complement its growing portfolio of international routes by offering nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport and Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia/Guanacaste, Costa Rica beginning in April 2016.  Southwest® expects to operate the service daily from LAX Terminal 2, adjacent the carrier's domestic operation in LAX Terminal 1.  Flights will be available for purchase early next year at Southwest.com and are subject to foreign government approval. 

"This new link for our Customers in the LA Basin to Costa Rica's growing resort and ecotourism region will bring to the market a value only Southwest can offer with bags fly free*, no change fees, and low fares, all alongside our famously friendly Customer Service," said Andrew Watterson, Southwest Airlines Senior Vice President of Network & Revenue Management.  "We proudly carry more passengers to and from California airports than any other airline and continue to invest in the Golden State by adding new short, medium, and long-haul service this year from all nine of our California airports."

The new international service comes as Southwest achieves several milestones in a revitalization of its LAX facilities at Terminal 1.  As part of the $508 million modernization project unfolding now in partnership with Los Angeles World Airports, a new ticketing lobby and baggage claim facility is set to open early next year.  Additional facility construction will bring new entrances, additional capacity in the security checkpoint expected to open in 2017, new food options, and an overall enhanced Customer experience.  The project is expected to be completed fully by 2018.

"I'm pleased to welcome Southwest Airlines' first new international route out of LAX," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.  "This new international flight will contribute to the expanding relationship between Southern California and Latin America while bringing over $600 million annually to our local economy and supporting thousands of jobs for Angelenos."

Southwest Airlines began flying to California in 1982 and now serves nine airports in the Golden State, offering more daily departures in California than any other airline.  143 of those flights takeoff and land within the state, connecting 18 unique city-pair combinations within California.  By summer 2016, Southwest's nine California airports will offer Customers a combined peak weekday schedule of 678 departures to destinations across the United States, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

Following its launch of service in April 2013 to the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Southwest began its international journey in July 2014 with service to three Caribbean nations and, after adding service points across the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America, will end 2015 'twelve for twelve,' so to speak:  the carrier now serves a dozen destinations across Latin America and the Caribbean from a dozen gateway airports on the U.S. mainland.  Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will become the carrier's thirteenth gateway airport in the 48 contiguous states.

"We are just getting started with a service footprint outside the U.S. mainland designed to offer the more than 100 million People who fly with us every year international opportunities to connect with what's important to them," Watterson said.  "Our list of opportunities is long and Liberia, Costa Rica is just the beginning of the international destinations we plan to offer from LAX."

Southwest Airlines Gateway Cities within the 48 contiguous states (as of 12/31/2015, listed alphabetically):

Atlanta

Austin

Baltimore/Washington

Chicago Midway

Denver

Ft. Lauderdale

Houston Hobby

Milwaukee

 Orange County/Santa Ana

 Orlando 

 San Antonio

 Tampa Bay

Southwest Airlines Service across Latin America and the Caribbean (as of 12/31/2015, listed chronologically by start of service):

San Juan, Puerto Rico               

(began Apr. 14, 2013)

 Oranjestad, Aruba                      

(began July 1, 2014)

 Nassau, The Bahamas                

(began July 1, 2014)

 Montego Bay, Jamaica                 

(began July 1, 2014)

 Cancun, Mexico                            

(began Aug. 10, 2014)

 San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, Mexico      

(began Aug. 10, 2014)

 Mexico City, Mexico                                 

(began Nov. 2, 2014)

 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic               

(began Nov. 2, 2014)

 San Jose, Costa Rica                                

(began Mar. 10, 2015)

 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico                              

(began June 7, 2015)

 Belize City, Belize                                      

(began Oct. 15, 2015)

 Liberia, Costa Rica                                      

(began Nov. 1, 2015)

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Specific forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to the Company's opportunities and expectations with respect to its operations at Los Angeles International Airport, including international operations. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) changes in demand for the Company's services and other changes in consumer behavior; (ii) the impact of governmental regulations and other governmental actions related to the Company's operations; (iii) the Company's ability to timely and effectively maintain the necessary information technology systems and infrastructure to support its operations and initiatives; (iv) the Company's dependence on third parties; and (v) other factors, as described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014. 

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 48,000 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 nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created TransfarencySM, 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 42 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.

 

SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.



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