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Southwest Airlines Going International

December 23, 2008 | Posted in: Southwest

A little over a year ago, we started talking about Southwest Airlines’ desire to expand outside of the United States. The carrier had its eye on codeshare opportunities that would enable them to provide service for travelers to Mexico, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Southwest has already taken steps to increase their international presence. A codeshare partnership with Mexico-based carrier Volaris is set to take effect in early 2010, and it looks like Canadian flights might be just around the corner. Southwest Airlines and Canadian carrier WestJet had established a codeshare agreement, and now they’re taking the steps to get those codeshare flights off the ground:

“Southwest Airlines today submitted an application to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to acquire international route authority to operate flights between the United States and Canada. The application for a certificate to provide foreign air transportation is required by law before Southwest Airlines can fully implement its previously announced codeshare agreement with Canadian carrier WestJet.” (Dec. 22, 2008 – from PR Newswire)

The certificate would actually allow Southwest to provide service to Canada with its own fleet, but the carrier hasn’t announced any plans to do so. Instead, along with WestJet, they hope to provide “a seamless travel experience to a wide array of destinations in both the U.S. and Canada.”

Routes are set to take off in the second half of 2009, and that should just be the beginning.

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