Southwest Airlines announced today that it will be the first U.S. carrier to operate non-stop flying between Oakland and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (PVR); and Oakland and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos (SJD). Service would begin in February 2017, subject to governmental approval. The introductory fares and proposed schedules have not been released.
Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) is the seventh-busiest airport in Mexico and is mainly a tourist airport, with peak flight schedules are in the winter, spring and early summer, just before the rainy season hits the area.
San Jose/Los Cabos (SJD) is the sixth-busiest airport in Mexico, located at San José del Cabo and the airport serves San José del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, and the Los Cabos area.
According to the PR Newswire Press Release:
“Linking the San Francisco Bay Area to these popular Mexican beach resort areas with time-saving itineraries brings our Customers low-fare and high-value service that is an exciting addition to our growing international portfolio,” said Leah Koontz, Southwest (SWX) Vice President . “We’re adding nonstop service that extends the reach of Oakland’s convenient airport experience to two top-ranking international destinations without a nonstop option.”
“Los Cabos, in particular, is the most requested international destination from the East Bay and North Bay that does not have a nonstop option,” said Bryant L. Francis, C.M., Director of Aviation for The Port of Oakland. “Southwest’s continual investment, especially with new medium-haul and long-haul flights has made Oakland International the fastest growing major airport in California in terms of passengers, and they’re enjoying unprecedented value and reliability.”
Southwest is going to be adding a little competition from the San Francisco Bay Area to Mexico, where Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin America currently fly from SFO to PVR and SFO to SJD. This route could be a win for Southwest if the flights to Mexico are timed to where it could capture some traffic from transfer passengers from the Pacific Northwest – specifically Seattle and Portland. And finally, Southwest is also making good on its statement from early May 2016 that they were going to add more service from the U.S. to Mexico after the Bilateral Agreement between the governments was reached that allows for greater air service between the two countries.