Southwest Airlines expands to international hubs

With over 3,800 flights each day, Southwest Airlines is a major competitor in the field of transportation. Promoting low prices and easy flights, the successful domestic airline is looking to go international. Starting with flights to the Caribbean, the airline is looking to expand further, offering more non-stop flights across the country as well.

The change comes as the company looks to gain more business and compete with other new and cheap domestic airlines such as Spirit Airlines.

According to the company website, the change reflects the ideas the company strives for. “The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride and Company Spirit.”

To many, this change comes as an exciting new prospect for future travels, especially for those who are already fans of the company and what it offers. To first year Cameron Piper, Southwest is on easy and cheap airline that makes it simple for students to travel.

“I chose [Southwest] because I could get a direct flight,” Piper said. “Because it’s Southwest, I can fly in direct and I don’t have time for a layover.”

Likewise, to sophomore Matt Favaro, the addition of more domestic and international flights can only help the successful company.

“Flying home for short breaks is often difficult for those of us out of state,” Favaro said. “However, with cheap prices and bag checking, it makes it possible to get a flight home relatively easy.”

Even to those who are less familiar with the airline, the new ventures by the company are attracting their attention.  To sophomore Paxton Deuel, if the company maintains its cheap prices and same business plan, their international venture may pay off.

“The more options the better. With a competitive market the prices will only get better”, Deuel said. “If they keep the cheap business model for international flights, it would really give them a competitive advantage and I would be inclined to try it.”

The prospect of cheap international flights is a hope for many, including Trinity students looking for future travels abroad.

“While they may not be offering international flights to my destinations by next year, the option will hopefully be there for future students,” Favaro said. “International travel can be pretty expensive, so if they can keep prices low, they will be successful, at least among us students”.

If they keep with their current model and adapt it similarly for international travel, many see further success for the airline.

“If they already give two-to-three checked bags, it will be interesting to see how they handle it internationally,” Piper said.

With new low price domestic competitors such as Spirit Airlines along with their 2011 acquisition of AirTran, the new ideas by the airline were no surprise. To many, these new changes will only help the airline, but it remains to be seen exactly how they will implement the plans. To chief executive and president of Southwest Airlines. Gary Kelly, the move is just another step in maintaining their reputation and success.

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, new customers and build upon a four-decade foundation of doing right by the travelers who trust our value and our people.”