For the first time since its legendary founding in San Antonio, when Herb Kelleher sketched out a route map linking San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston in a local restaurant, Southwest Airlines is going international.
The Dallas based airline says it will begin selling tickets today for flights to Aruba, The Bahamas, and Jamaica, which will begin flying July 1.
Southwest has been discussing the possibility of international flights for years. In 2011, Southwest bought Airtran, which flies to Mexico, but this will be the first time the familiar Southwest Airlines 737 jets will land at an airport outside of the United States.
The announcement was made by CEO Gary Kelly.
“Southwest Airlines democratized the sky from our first flights more than four decades ago,” Kelly said. “Today’s milestone enables us to reach new territory and build upon a four decade foundation of doing right by the travelers who trust our value and our people.”
International flights will mean a new world of customs enforcement and passport control for Southwest, which made its name flying short hauls with low fares.