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Southwest goes international sans cargo, initially

By Adina Solomon on January 27, 2014

Southwest Airlines began its first-ever scheduled international flights, but cargo service will have to wait.

Beginning July 1, the airline will fly between:

  • Atlanta and Aruba, and Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Baltimore/Washington and Aruba, Nassau, Bahamas, and (twice daily) Montego Bay
  • Orlando and (Saturday only) Aruba, and Montego Bay

“It’s a great milestone for Southwest Airlines in general to start offering international service,” Wally Devereux, senior director of cargo at Southwest, tells Air Cargo World.

Devereux says Southwest Cargo will begin to use international flights in 2015. Right now, the airline has a point of sale system that doesn’t support international cargo, so it’s working to replace those back office systems before it flies freight internationally.

In this first phase of Southwest’s international conversion plan, subsidiary AirTran Airways will continue service between Atlanta and Nassau, between Chicago Midway and Montego Bay, as well as flights to/from Cancun, Los Cabos, and Mexico City, Mexico, and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

By the end of 2014, the carrier plans to complete the launch of Southwest service to the remaining four international destinations on the company's network route map of 96 destinations in six countries.