Why Phoenix Sky Harbor May See International Expansion

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Phoenix, Arizona, home to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, is the 6th largest city in the US, though you wouldn’t know that based on their international service from the airport. Sure, they fly to a handful of destinations in Canada and Mexico, as well as daily to London, but that’s about it, though things could be changing for the better.

Southwest Airlines

Per Sky Harbor,

Southwest Airlines announced that it will increase its presence at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport over the coming years. Accompanied by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Southwest’s President Tom Nealon told a gathering of the PHX Aero Club that the airline has committed to occupying a future eight-gate concourse at Terminal 4. The concourse, which will be the eighth and final concourse at Terminal 4, is scheduled to open in 2021. Southwest, one of Sky Harbor’s two largest carriers, currently occupies three concourses at Terminal 4.

Adding eight more gates for Southwest is huge! At a minimum, if you factor in each gate can handle 8 flights a day (on the low-end), that’s an additional 64 flights every day from Phoenix. If you look, at their route map, Southwest already flies to the majority of their domestic cities that make sense, so I think it’s safe to say that new international routes could be in the future.

While unconfirmed, some possibilites include Liberia, Costa Rica;  Belize City, Montego Bay, and San Jose, Costa Rica, those this is just taking into account international designations currently served by Southwest Airlines.

If these new gates, aren’t motivation enough, here’s some even more promising news. The Governor of Arizona has signed tax cuts for airlines serving Phoenix. Southwest Airlines might not be the only carrier planning to add new routes, American Airlines may be jumping in as well. The tax cuts, put Phoenix more in-line with Charlotte, NC, and if you look at their service it’s more robust compared to what’s present in Phoenix.

Is anyone else excited about the possibility of new international routes at Phoenix? Feel free to share your thoughts on where you’d like service to be added. 

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

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  1. I’d love to see Southwest begin international flights from Phoenix, even if it’s just the standard Mexico routes. At a minimum that would create some price competition with American. $600 nonstops for a two hour Cabo flight have got to end. As you mentioned, our current options are awful, so I’ll take what we can get.

    There were rumors late last year that Emirates was coming to Phoenix, but it seems far fetched.

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