Dallas, Texas - Southwest Airlines plans to launch service to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, out of Orange County, California, on June 7, 2015, Southwest Airlines chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said Monday.
"Extending our route map to the beautiful region surrounding Puerto Vallarta on Mexico's Pacific Coast is an exciting opportunity for Southwest and our customers across the US," said Kelly at an investors meeting at the carrier's headquarters in Dallas.
Kelly also announced the company's plans to add two more international destinations in 2015. Those cities are in addition to Southwest’s previous announcement it will begin flying to San Jose, Costa Rica, from Baltimore in March.
With San Jose and Puerto Vallarta, Southwest will be up to nine non-US destinations.
The carrier also expects to add Saturday service between Baltimore/Washington International Airport and Los Cabos, Mexico, and new seasonal daily service between San Antonio, Texas and Cancun, both in June of 2015.
Southwest began flying internationally in July when it took over three destinations served by merger partner AirTran Airways. It finished absorbing AirTran’s international network serving seven non-US cities in early November.
Kelly also said that its new nonstop service out of Dallas Love Field is going "extremely well." Load factors are averaging over 90 percent on the 49 additional flights it is offering beyond the old Wright amendment area, Kelly said.
"Dallas Love Field is the majority of what I would call our normal growth in 2015, and it’s obviously all domestic," Kelly said.
Chief financial officer Tammy Romo expanded that to say that half of Southwest’s capacity growth in 2015, in available seat miles flown, would be at Dallas Love Field. A lot of that is the longer stage lengths — Romo said the average stage length out of Love Field will be 70 percent higher in 2015 than in 2014.
Kelly said Southwest expects to end 2015 with about 700 airplanes, about the same as today. But it expects to begin growing the fleet in 2016, 2017, and 2018, at a percentage rate in the low single digits, Kelly said.Original Story