Southwest Airlines launched inaugural service to five cities on Sunday, April 14 – the most cities the airline has ever begun serving in one day.
One of the new Southwest Airlines destinations is San Juan in Puerto Rico, which is the first city that Southwest has ever served on a scheduled basis outside the 48 contiguous states of the mainland United States.
The expansion is a result of Southwest Airlines continuing the operational integration into the parent carrier of its wholly owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways.
“This milestone is historic as it marks Southwest’s first venture outside the 48 contiguous states, and it’s proof positive that our ongoing integration of AirTran remains on-track as we’re making tremendous progress,” said Ron Ricks, Southwest’s executive vice president and chief legal & regulatory officer.
“AirTran has done a wonderful job establishing a presence in these markets, and Southwest is proud to continue that legacy and extend our vast network of destinations, exceptional customer service, and low fares,” added Ricks.
As of April 14, Southwest Airlines is operating new non-stop service linking:
● Charlotte in North Carolina with Baltimore/Washington, Chicago Midway, Houston Hobby and Orlando;
● Flint in Michigan with Baltimore/Washington, Orlando and Tampa;
● Portland in Maine with Baltimore/Washington;
● Rochester in New York with Baltimore/Washington, Chicago Midway, Orlando and Tampa; and
● San Juan with Orlando and Tampa.
AirTran Airways ceased service in Charlotte, Flint, Portland (Maine) and Rochester on April 13 but will continue to offer scheduled services linking San Juan with Baltimore/Washington, Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport and Atlanta.
However, Southwest has announced that it will assume AirTran’s San Juan service to Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport on September 29.
To promote its new San Juan service, Southwest announced a one-day offer of $39 one-way fares between San Juan and both Orlando and Tampa Bay. These fares must be booked by 11:59 p.m. PT on April 15.
The sale fares are available only on www.southwest.com and swabiz.com. Travel under the sale fare is valid to and from San Juan and Orlando from Apr 16 through April 21, April 23, April 25, April 27 and April 30; and May 1 through May 2, May 7, May 17 and May 30.
Travel under the sale fare to and from San Juan and Tampa is valid on April 16 through April 18 and April 23 through April 25; and May 1 through May 2, May 7 through May 8, and May 26. Sale prices are inclusive of all government taxes and fees.
Southwest says it is the United States’ largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. Including wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways, the Southwest Airlines group operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world. Within the next three years, all will be from the Boeing 737 family.
The fleet serves 97 destinations in 41 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and six other countries near the U.S.