Southwest Airlines To Add 50 New International Flights from BWI

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According to an article in the Baltimore Sun, Southwest Airlines is looking to rapidly expand it’s international service in Baltimore by adding up to 50 new international flights.


BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport will be a “focal point” for Southwest Airline’s expansion into dozens of new international markets, the carrier’s CEO said Friday.

The Dallas-based airline, already the nation’s largest domestic carrier, launched its first international flight last year out of BWI, Southwest’s second-busiest hub. In coming years, the Anne Arundel County airport will remain an important launch pad as the airline considers routes to 50 additional international cities, said Gary Kelly, the airline’s president and CEO.

“We’ll be able to add a lot of dots to the route maps,” Kelly told a packed room of local business leaders at the BWI Business Partnership breakfast, held at the Hotel at Arundel Preserve.

All 50 cities the airline is considering expanding into are in the Caribbean and Central America — not Europe or Asia — though, Kelly added, the new Boeing 737 MAX airplanes the company hopes to start flying by 2017 are more fuel-efficient and will help expand its range.

Bottom Line

Southwest currently flies to several Caribbean destinations from Baltimore including Montego Bay, Cancun, Nassau, Aruba, and Punta Cana, so if they were to add 50 additional international cities, they would basically be offering service to every Caribbean island.

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  1. Doesn’t necessarily have to be Caribbean – flight time to Quito, Equador (for example) is under 6 hours from DC, so they could potentially be serving cities in northern South America.

  2. I have to say I wish Southwest would schedule their international flights differently – I know they want to do same day turns and use the same crew, but the new flight to Puerto Vallarta from Orange County/Santa Ana is leaving early enough in the morning (~9 am) that from Albuquerque it’s not a valid route. It seems to be similar with other routes. Very limiting.

  3. I’m sure it makes sense and there is demand from BWI but Central America seems to make more sense from Texas or so than from BWI to me. I figured they would expand into Canada more so from BWI or NYC.

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