By MP Mexico News Staff
DALLAS — Southwest Airlines today announced its intention to build a codeshare partnership with Mexican carrier Volaris. The two airlines have completed the first step in creating a relationship that will eventually allow the carriers to offer Customers a seamless travel experience to a wide array of destinations. This initial agreement puts the two airlines on a path toward bringing more low fares and a better Customer experience across the U.S./Mexican border. The airlines plan to announce codeshare flight schedules and additional features regarding the partnership by early 2010. Certain details of the codeshare and elements of the partnership are subject to approvals by both the U.S. and Mexican governments. To view a blog post on the announcement, visit: http://www.blogsouthwest.com/blog/viva-mexico.
“We are continuing to look for ways to expand our network through international codeshare partnerships, and we are excited to team up with Volaris to offer our Customers access to attractive Mexican destinations,” said Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President Strategy and Planning Bob Jordan. “Volaris has a stellar reputation for being a highly efficient airline with a dedication to Customer Service, which makes it a natural fit for Southwest Airlines.”
Volaris was founded in 2006 and currently serves 39 routes in 23 cities throughout Mexico. Volaris is known for competitive pricing and an end-to-end operations model that has earned the airline the reputation for being Mexico’s most ontime carrier. Volaris operates a modern fleet of 18 Airbus A319 and an A320 aircraft with an average age of 2.17 years.
“Our international expansion will happen with the best possible partner for a carrier of our characteristics — that is Southwest Airlines. We are certain that the codeshare will allow business, leisure, and visiting friends and family traffic to increase on both sides of the border,” said Volaris Chief Executive Officer Enrique Beltranena.
The airlines are not ready to announce routes, schedules, or fares at this point, but the agreement will eventually allow each carrier to check both Customers and baggage to a passenger’s final destination. The codeshare partnership is intended to provide convenient, viable connecting schedules. In addition, southwest.com will become a distribution channel for Volaris’ existing Mexican and future transborder flights in the Spring of 2009, providing Customers the opportunity to purchase flights on Volaris’ existing flights via southwest.com (this option will be available for existing Volaris flights before actual connecting codeshare flights are available for purchase). Other areas of possible cooperation include frequent flier options, ground handling, and cargo.
“We recently announced our decision to enter the international market with Canadian carrier WestJet, and we will continue to work diligently to broaden our international codeshare service even further,” Jordan said.
About Southwest Airlines
After 37 years of service, Southwest Airlines, the nation’s leading low-fare carrier, continues to stand above other airlines — offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the most productive airline in the sky and offers Customers a comfortable traveling experience with all premium leather seats and plenty of legroom. Southwest recently updated its gate areas and improved its boarding procedure to make flying Southwest Airlines even more convenient and simple. Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) , the nation’s largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 64 cities in 32 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and has more than 34,000 Employees systemwide.
Volaris is a Mexican high-efficiency airline aimed at offering customers a unique travel experience — starting with the easy ticket purchasing process right through the onboard entertainment services. With an A320 and 18 A319 aircrafts, Volaris has the youngest and most modern fleet in Mexico reaching 23 different destinations across the country. Volaris started operations March 2006 guaranteeing travelers comfort, reliability, and on-time performance. More than 1,500 employees make up the Volaris family and bring to life the airline’s commitment to good service and single-class treatment: the Human Class. Additionally, Volaris has earned exceptionally high marks for Customer Service and punctuality through a commonly used Net Promoter Score.
This news release contains forward-looking statements related to Southwest’s intention to offer international service through an alliance with Volaris. Specific statements relate to the anticipated impact of such alliance on Southwest’s routes, fares, and Customer experience. These forward-looking statements are based on Southwest’s current intent, beliefs, and expectations and are not guarantees of future results. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) the companies’ ability to negotiate mutually agreeable codeshare terms and their receipt of necessary governmental approvals, (ii) consumer interest in, and demand for, the combined offering; (iii) the impact of competitive offerings; and (iv) economic and related uncertainties that could impact the ability of the two companies to fully implement all of the initiatives currently contemplated by their alliance.