Furthering its reach, Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) (NYSE: LUV) today began operating new international service daily from Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to Providenciales International Airport (PLS) in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the carrier's 11th country served. In addition, Southwest® initiated new service between its South Florida gateway at FLL and both San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO), and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ), giving Customers nonstop access from Fort Lauderdale to 10 destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
"Three new routes bring Southwest's needed value for Floridians hoping to hit the beach in Provo's world-famous Grace Bay, hike up the crater at Poas volcano near Costa Rica's capital city, or have a carefree weekend in a resort in Punta Cana," said Steve Goldberg, Southwest's Senior Vice President of Operations & Hospitality who also serves as the carrier's Executive Sponsor of Florida. "With convenient connections for Orlando, Tampa, and dozens of cities across our domestic network, these international destinations are now reachable on Southwest (SWX) where there are no change fees and bags fly free."
- There are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. First and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply..
In a partnership with Broward County, Southwest continues work to transform and expand Terminal 1 at FLL into a vastly improved facility with additional gates, security screening, concessions, and border processing capacity. Southwest launched additional international service from FLL in June 2017.
Southwest recently extended its bookable flight schedule through early August 2018 bringing new, international service on Saturdays next summer between Houston and Grand Cayman. In addition, service between Cancun and both Pittsburgh and Raleigh-Durham will operate nonstop on Saturdays beginning June 9, 2018, subject to governmental approvals. The summer 2018 flight schedule is Southwest's largest-ever for Cancun with nonstop service from 16 gateway airports in the U.S. peaking at 27 departures to Cancun on Saturdays.
Southwest also increased summer season 2018 service to Puerto Rico with daily flights between San Juan and Chicago Midway, which had operated only on weekends in Summer 2017, and augmented daily seasonal service between San Juan and Houston Hobby, with a second flight on Saturdays and Sundays beginning June 9, 2018.
"We're investing in the Caribbean with an optimistic outlook on travel and tourism as our Hearts remain with those still facing significant challenges," Goldberg added. Following the hurricanes of 2017, Southwest coordinated with government officials to operate two dozen unscheduled flights to Puerto Rico in support of relief efforts by transporting people and much-needed supplies. "While a courageous recovery continues, the best thing many can do now is simply take a vacation, make a business trip, and contribute to a greater awareness that the Caribbean is back in business."