Southwest Airlines adds 2 international routes from Phoenix

Mar 12, 2020

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Southwest Airlines will add its first international flights from Phoenix this October, service that was announced Thursday as Southwest extended its booking schedule through Oct. 30.

The Dallas-based carrier will begin service between Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and both Cabo San Lucas (SJD) and Puerto Vallarta (PVR) on Oct. 8, Southwest unveiled Thursday. The Los Cabos route will operate twice daily and the Puerto Vallarta route once daily.

The Mexico routes are Southwest’s first international flights from Phoenix, its seventh-largest base by departures.

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The new routes were pushed out in Southwest’s regular schedule extension that was long scheduled for Thursday. Southwest updates its timetable several times a year, with the latest extension scheduled to roll out before the coronavirus concerns began to significantly impact the U.S. market.

The schedule update also included more flights on two of its intra-California routes from Long Beach (LGB), adding one additional weekday round-trip to both Oakland (OAK) and San Jose. Beginning Aug. 11, Southwest will offer five round-trip flights each weekday on both routes.

The route additions come as U.S. airlines face what many executives describe as the worst slowdown in air travel since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Southwest has not cut capacity due to the downturn, as other airlines have, but it anticipates an at least $300 million drop in revenue in the first quarter due to fears of the disease COVID-19.

Related: Southwest Airlines ‘absolutely’ harmed by MAX grounding

Southwest was already due to shrink capacity in the first quarter due to the Boeing 737 MAX grounding prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The new Long Beach flights comes as JetBlue Airways is due to end service between the Southern California airport and Oakland and San Jose in April.

Southwest will compete with American Airlines on both Phoenix routes, and with Volaris between Phoenix and Puerto Vallarta, according to Cirium schedules.

Related: JetBlue drops Oakland, shrinks Long Beach amid broader route shakeup

Featured image by DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty Images.

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