Southwest Airlines Inaugurates New Service To Cuba, Making Havana The 100th City In Growing NetworkDec 12, 2016
Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today began service to the carrier*s 100th city, Havana, Cuba, with inaugural celebration on flights departing two U.S. gateway airports, Tampa International and Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International. Southwest Employees and Executive Leaders joined Customers in traveling aboard the first-ever Southwest flights to Havana. The Company*s social media fans joined a conversation by sharing memories and images of the milestone day through the hashtag #Southwest100.
**I*m grateful to our more than 53,000 Southwest Employees and everyone who*s been part of our Southwest Family during the past 45 years who built our airline to this moment in history—we now operate flights from 100 cities across nine countries,** said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, & CEO, before a welcoming delegation at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana. **Our daily nonstop flight from Tampa and twice daily service from Fort Lauderdale bring additional vital links for our Customers who count on us to connect them with places and people that are important in their lives through unmatched value in air travel.**
Service to Santa Clara, Cuba, the carrier*s 101st city served, begins this Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Service to Varadero, Cuba, began Nov. 13, 2016.
From its first flights on June 18, 1971, connecting a triangle of Texas cities with a fleet of just three aircraft, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel. The U.S. Department of Transportation later described this phenomenon as **The Southwest Effect,** a lowering of fares that increases passenger traffic in new, nonstop markets the carrier serves. Now, with more than 53,000 Employees, Southwest carries more than 100 million people annually aboard the world*s largest fleet of Boeing aircraft. With 43 consecutive years of profitability behind it, Southwest also is widely recognized as one of the most honored airlines in the world.
Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer all Customers its bags fly free® policy (applies to the first and second checked pieces of luggage, with applicable size and weight limitations) and never charges change fees, though fare differences could apply when plans change.
**Some airlines allow free checked bags on select routes or only in qualified circumstances. In contrast, we proudly offer two free checked bags to every Customer because it*s a foundational value in every fare we sell,** Kelly said. **In our fifth decade of service, we*re now seeing the Southwest Effect in international markets as our Customer-friendly policies reach beyond the U.S. border on our growing route map.**
In 2014, Southwest began international service that now touches more than a dozen airports across eight additional countries with service offered from gateway cities across the continental United States. The Our History section of the Southwest Newsroom at swamedia.com features a full rundown of Southwest*s unique history. Video and photos from today*s historic flights also are available on the site.
Southwest Airlines Tips Off a New Era in IndyIt*s a slam dunk for Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) and the Indiana Pacers as the two brands team up. During a news conference this morning at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Southwest and the Pacers announced a new partnership that will bring exciting events to Central Indiana including giving out 50,000 Rapid Rewards Points to celebrate the Pacers* 50th season (2016-2017), player appearances, and much.
**This is an exciting partnership highlighting passion points that make Indianapolis a great place to live, work, and play,** said Katherine Findlay, Southwest*s Vice President of Internal Audit who also is Southwest*s executive ambassador to Indianapolis. **We look forward to joining the Pacers and their fans to showcase our new destinations, low fares, and the Customer-friendly policies that make Southwest Airlines a great choice for business and leisure travel.**
**It*s very fitting that as we begin a season-long celebration of 50 years of Pacers basketball and history with Opening Night this evening, we gather today to begin a new era with our friends from Southwest Airlines,** said Rick Fuson, President of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. **This is a remarkable day in so many ways, and we are so proud to associate our organization with this great airline.**
To tip-off the new partnership, Southwest debuted a new video highlighting the airlines* arrival to Bankers Life Fieldhouse with Boomer arriving into Indianapolis* International Airport. The video also features some of the nearly 200 locally-based Southwest Employees.
As the Official Airline of the Pacers, Southwest will have a branding presence at Bankers Life Fieldhouse including in-arena advertisements and digital/broadcast features. The carrier also partners with Fox Sports Indiana during broadcasts of Pacers games.
Southwest began service to Indianapolis more than 25 years ago and offers nearly 40 daily nonstop flights to 17 destinations including top business destinations like Washington Reagan (DCA), Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago Midway, and Dallas Love Field.
Southwest Airlines Cargo Flies High With Industry-Leading AwardsDALLAS, June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) Cargo is flying high after recently being named the nation*s best carrier for air cargo. For the seventh straight year, Southwest earned the Airforwarders Association*s (AFA) **Domestic Carrier of the Year,** award. The airline earned the honors for its on time performance, Customer Service, problem resolution, overall value, and much more.
**We are very grateful for this powerful source of Customer recognition. Providing Hospitality and Reliability through Teamwork is a major priority at Southwest Airlines,** said Matt Buckley, Southwest Airlines* Vice President Cargo & Charters. **Our Cargo, Ramp, and Operations Employees continue to demonstrate the strength of their commitment to our Cargo Customers by meeting or exceeding their expectations on a daily basis with friendly, reliable service.**
**We are proud that once again, Southwest Cargo has been voted as the Airforwarders Association*s 2016 Domestic Carrier of the Year,** said Brandon Fried, Airforwarders Association*s Executive Director. **In this highly demanding and competitive marketplace, AFA members know that they can depend on Southwest Cargo for fast and reliable service to satisfy their customers. We look forward to our continuing partnership as Southwest expands to new markets and cargo-related opportunities.**
The honors are still landing at Southwest*s Dallas Headquarters. Express Delivery and Logistics Association (XLA) recognized the carrier for its outstanding 2015 performance by presenting it with the Express Cargo Standard of Excellence award.
The XLA reviewed airline performance of the express cargo segment. Airlines were judged with a combination of factors including on time performance, expedited products, technology offerings, XLA member feedback, and more.
**The Express Delivery and Logistics Association (XLA) is delighted to announce that Southwest Airlines has been awarded our Association*s Standard of Excellence award for outstanding service to the express cargo community in 2015,** said Jim Conway, Executive Director, XLA.