Posted on: 01 July 2014 by Mark Howells
Southwest Airlines has inaugurated service to three Caribbean destinations – Aruba, Jamaica and The Bahamas – from three of its US gateway cities, Baltimore/Washington, Atlanta, and Orlando.
Southwest’s first international departure, from Baltimore/Washington to Oranjestad, Aruba, departed ontime at 08:30 EDT, closely followed by the flight to Montego Bay, Jamaica, and the a midday flight from Baltimore/Washington to Nassau/Paradise Island.
“Thousands of our employees have had a hand in launching these flights which begin to bring our convenient and affordable way of air travel to the world, and broaden the horizon for more than 100 million customers who fly with us every year,” declared Teresa Laraba, Southwest’s senior vice-president of customers, during a Caribbean-themed celebration and news conference at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
Customers on the carrier’s inaugural international flights from Baltimore/Washington joined those in Atlanta and Orlando, who celebrated alongside employees with commemorative beach balls, snorkels and masks.
At the company's corporate headquarters in Dallas, employees staffed a command centre in the pre-dawn hours to monitor operational performance and new technology systems developed in partnership with Amadeus, whose Altéa suite is powering Southwest’s reservations, inventory, and departure control functions for international flying.
Southwest Airlines previously announced details to convert by the end of this year all international service offered by wholly-owned subsidiary AirTran Airways, including flights to Mexico and the Dominican Republic.