Southwest Airlines Co. announced plans to complement its growing portfolio of international routes by offering nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport and Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia/Guanacaste, Costa Rica beginning in April 2016. Southwest expects to operate the service daily from LAX Terminal 2, adjacent the carrier’s domestic operation in LAX Terminal 1. Flights will be available for purchase early next year at Southwest.com and are subject to foreign government approval.
“This new link for our Customers in the LA Basin to Costa Rica’s growing resort and ecotourism region will bring to the market a value only Southwest can offer with bags fly free*, no change fees, and low fares, all alongside our famously friendly Customer Service,” said Andrew Watterson, Southwest Airlines Senior Vice President of Network & Revenue Management. “We proudly carry more passengers to and from California airports than any other airline and continue to invest in the Golden State by adding new short, medium, and long-haul service this year from all nine of our California airports.”
The new international service comes as Southwest achieves several milestones in a revitalization of its LAX facilities at Terminal 1. As part of the $508 million modernization project unfolding now in partnership with Los Angeles World Airports, a new ticketing lobby and baggage claim facility is set to open early next year. Additional facility construction will bring new entrances, additional capacity in the security checkpoint expected to open in 2017, new food options, and an overall enhanced Customer experience. The project is expected to be completed fully by 2018.
“I’m pleased to welcome Southwest Airlines’ first new international route out of LAX,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This new international flight will contribute to the expanding relationship between Southern California and Latin America while bringing over $600 million annually to our local economy and supporting thousands of jobs for Angelenos.”
Southwest Airlines began flying to California in 1982 and now serves nine airports in the Golden State, offering more daily departures in California than any other airline. 143 of those flights takeoff and land within the state, connecting 18 unique city-pair combinations within California. By summer 2016, Southwest’s nine California airports will offer Customers a combined peak weekday schedule of 678 departures to destinations across the United States, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
Following its launch of service in April 2013 to the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Southwest began its international journey in July 2014 with service to three Caribbean nations and, after adding service points across the Caribbean, Mexico, andCentral America, will end 2015 ‘twelve for twelve,’ so to speak: the carrier now serves a dozen destinations across Latin America and the Caribbean from a dozen gateway airports on the U.S. mainland. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will become the carrier’s thirteenth gateway airport in the 48 contiguous states.
“We are just getting started with a service footprint outside the U.S. mainland designed to offer the more than 100 million People who fly with us every year international opportunities to connect with what’s important to them,” Watterson said. “Our list of opportunities is long and Liberia, Costa Rica is just the beginning of the international destinations we plan to offer from LAX.”