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Southwest Airlines Begins Cuba Service Nonstop From Ft. Lauderdale To Varadero, Announces Santa Clara Service Plans

November 15, 2016 Aviation No Comments Print Print Email Email

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today inaugurated service between South Florida and Cuba with the scheduled 11:00 a.m. EST departure of Southwest Flight 3914 to Varadero (VRA) from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). 143 Passengers and a Crew of five Southwest Employees donned Cuban-style hats as the aircraft departed to an orchestra playing Caribbean music and a drumroll by renowned bandleader Tito Puente, Jr.

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Southwest Airlines’ Bold Look; Same #SouthwestHeart

“Our Employees have worked hard to open this route and a new chapter for people who want to connect with Cuba in ways that matter most to them,” said Steve Goldberg, Southwest Airlines’ Vice President of Ground Operations who is also Southwest’s executive ambassador to Florida. Goldberg also announced Southwest intends to begin once daily service from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara, Cuba (SNU) on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, subject to requisite approvals of the Cuban government. “By the end of this year, we’ll offer six daily roundtrips between two Florida gateways and three Cuban cities as the work continues to open a new, five-gate international concourse here in Fort Lauderdale next summer.”

In celebration of the announcement of new service to Santa Clara, Southwest is offering a special fare of $59 one-way* on nonstop flights from Ft. Lauderdale to Santa Clara (14-day advance purchase required, today through Nov. 20, 2016, 11:59 p.m. in the time zone of the originating city for travel Dec. 15, 2016, through April 24, 2017). Please see below for valid travel days and complete terms & conditions. Check Southwest.com/Cuba for requirements regarding travel to Cuba and date-specific flight schedules for daily nonstop and other published connecting service.

On Oct.13, Southwest announced its flight schedule of new nonstop service between Florida and both Varadero and Havana. Cuba is the  ninth country served by Southwest, with Havana marking a historic 100th destination. Service between Havana (HAV) and both Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Tampa International Airport (TPA) begins Dec. 12, 2016, subject to requisite approvals of the Cuban government. Southwest street teams surprised residents with $100 Southwest Gift Cards across both greater Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay to spread awareness of the new routes. The carrier’s social media community followed the day’s events through hashtag #Southwest100.

The carrier continues to plan for available seat mile (ASM) growth in the 5-6 percent range in 2016.

See swamedia.com for b-roll video of inaugural festivity, first flights, and executive interviews, as well the latest available data regarding Southwest’s economic impact in Florida.

*FARE TERMS & CONDITIONS

14-day advance purchase required. Fares available for purchase today through Nov. 20, 2016,11:59 p.m. in the time zone of the originating city for travel Dec. 15, 2016, through April 24, 2017. Fares are valid only on nonstop service. Displayed prices include all U.S. and international government taxes and fees. If traveling to Cuba, fares include Cuban Government mandatory health insurance. Rapid Rewards® Points bookings do not include taxes, fees, and other government/airport charges of at least $5.60 per one way flight. Seats and days are limited. Fares may vary by destination, flight, and day of week and won’t be available on some flights that operate during very busy travel times and holiday periods. Travel is available for one-way Wanna Get Away® fares. Fares may be combined with other Southwest Airlines® combinable fares. If combining fares, the most restrictive fare rules apply. Sale fares may be available on other days of week, but that’s not guaranteed. Fares are nonrefundable but may be applied toward future travel on Southwest®, as long as reservations are canceled at least ten minutes prior to scheduled departure. Failure to cancel prior to departure will result in forfeiture of remaining funds on the reservation. Any change in itinerary may result in an increase in fare. Standby travel requires travelers who are not Rapid Rewards® A-List or A-List Preferred Members to upgrade to the Anytime fare. Fares are subject to change until ticketed. Offer applies only to published, scheduled service. Every passenger traveling to Cuba must certify that they are eligible to travel to Cuba under one of 12 general license categories, a specific license, or as a Cuban National.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Specific forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to the Company’s anticipated service offerings and fares and network and capacity plans, opportunities, and expectations. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) the impact of economic conditions, consumer behavior, fuel prices, actions of competitors (including without limitation pricing, scheduling, and capacity decisions and consolidation and alliance activities), and other factors beyond the Company’s control, on the Company’s business decisions, plans, and strategies; (ii) the impact of governmental regulations and other governmental actions related to the Company’s operations; and (iii) other factors, as described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2015.

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