From April 14, Southwest Airlines will operate three daily round-trips between Orlando and San Juan and one daily round-trip between Tampa and San Juan,...

Southwest Airlines is launching non-stop service from Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan to Orlando and Tampa on Sunday, April 14, 2013.

From April 14, Southwest Airlines will operate three daily round-trips between Orlando and San Juan and one daily round-trip between Tampa and San Juan, as the carrier transitions these routes to its own operation from that of its subsidiary AirTran Airways.


All Boeing 737-800s delivered to Southwest Airlines are to be fully equipped for Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards (ETOPS) operations, allowing Southwest to add long over-water sectors to destinations such as airports in Hawaii to its route network

 

To promote the new San Juan service, Southwest is offering $99 introductory one-way fares in the two new markets. The fares must be booked by November 7 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, for travel between Monday, April 15 and Thursday, May 23, 2013. Friday and Sunday travel is excluded. To obtain the fares, travel must be booked at www.southwest.com. Seats are limited.

AirTran Airways will continue to offer service between San Juan and Baltimore/Washington International Airport, Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, and Atlanta.

Southwest says it will determine soon the best time to convert the remaining AirTran flying to Southwest as part of the gradual integration of the two airlines into one airline flying under the Southwest brand.

When Southwest Airlines took over AirTran Airways, it also took over AirTran’s outstanding orders for 65 Boeing 737-700s. However, AirTran continued in operation with 52 already-delivered Boeing 737-700s and 88 Boeing 717s. The Boeing 717s are all due to be subleased to Delta Air Lines by 2015

 

AirTran customers who booked flights between San Juan and Tampa or San Juan and Orlando for travel beginning April 14, 2013 or later will be contacted by the airline and rebooked on Southwest flights.

Customers of both carriers may exchange earned loyalty points between both AirTran’s A+ Rewards and Southwest’s Rapid Rewards frequent flyer programs for reward travel on either airline.

“Southwest celebrates San Juan, Puerto Rico as our first venture beyond the continental United States,” says Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines’ executive vice president & chief commercial officer and AirTran Airways’ president. “AirTran has done a wonderful job establishing a presence in this market, and Southwest is proud to continue that legacy and extend our vast network of destinations, exceptional customer service, and convenient low fares to the San Juan community.”

Southwest Airlines received its first Boeing 737-800 new from Boeing on March 8, 2012

 

“It is an honor to be Southwest’s first destination outside the continental United States,” says Luis G. Rivera Marin, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. “The Puerto Rico Tourism Company and all Puerto Rican travelers welcome this new carrier to our island and know that this new service will provide great opportunities for growth into the airline’s robust network, and great connectivity to the west coast markets in the U.S.”

AirTran began service at San Juan in March 2008 with service to Orlando and Atlanta. In February 2009, the carrier added service between San Juan and Baltimore/Washington. AirTran added San Juan service to Tampa in April 2011 and to Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport in May 2012.

To find hotel deals in San Juan, click here. To find hotel deals in Orlando, visit here. To find hotel deals in Tampa, go here.

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