Southwest Airlines is launching a new service allowing its customers to book international flights by connecting with Volaris, Mexico’s second-largest airline.
From November 12, customers can book service through Southwest Airlines from 20 of its cities to five Volaris Mexican destinations – Cancun, Guadalajara, Morelia, Toluca (just outside Mexico City) and Zacatecas – for travel starting December 1. The new service will connect through Los Angeles International Airport, Oakland International Airport, and San Jose International Airport and will create up to 85 additional flight itineraries.
The 20 U.S. destinations from which Southwest will offer connecting flights begin with Sacramento, Oakland, Spokane, San Jose, Tucson and El Paso on December1. In the second phase, Southwest will add connections between the Mexican cities and Las Vegas, Seattle/Tacoma, Portland (Oregon), Salt Lake City, Reno/Tahoe and Albuquerque. Phase three will see Southwest add connections to the Mexican destinations from Phoenix, Denver, Ontario (California), San Francisco, Orange County, Burbank and Boise.
As Volaris grows, Southwest will open additional cities in its network as international connecting destinations, continuing Southwest’s commitment to network expansion. Volaris conducts focus-city, hub-type operations at Tijuana, Toluca, Guadalajara and Puebla and has recently launched services to eight domestic destinations from Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport, taking advantage of the market gap left by the collapse of Mexicana.
“In 2008, we announced our intent to offer customers international service by utilizing a partnership with Volaris. Today, we are proud to introduce our one-of-a-kind connecting product that will foster Southwest’s growth by providing customers the ability to book international destinations to Volaris’ expanded network,” says Bob Jordan, executive vice president of strategy and planning for Southwest Airlines.
“This is an important day for Southwest and Volaris employees; we have worked diligently to create a unique product that will uphold our high levels of customer service, stimulate additional revenue for both carriers, and offer great new destinations for both airlines’ customers,” adds Jordan.
Southwest says the connecting service will offer convenient transactions and travel for Southwest and Volaris customers. Southwest’s international connect portal will conduct two separate transactions, one with Southwest’s reservations system and one with Volaris’ reservations system. The newly developed technology will connect the two transactions and provide customers with an easy booking experience and one fare.
Customers traveling on an international connection will be required to check in with each carrier, but luggage will be transferred by the airlines and delivered to the final destination. Southwest customers can book travel and learn more about Volaris’ service, policies, and procedures at www.southwest.com/Mexico.
“We are proud of the great work both airlines have completed in the past two years. This partnership will strengthen our growth strategy and will solidify our service in the United States,” says Enrique Beltranena, CEO of Volaris. “The objective of this partnership is to provide a convenient and affordable itinerary for our customers, while offering a higher level of service on both sides of the border.”
Southwest has created an international desk staffed with bilingual customer service agents to support the effort. Customers can call 1-888-329-8776 for assistance with their travel. If calling internationally, customers can use 011-888-829-8776.