Southwest eyes Canada for next round of expansion

Southwest eyes Canada for next round of expansion

ANNAPOLIS — Southwest’s expansion plans could include Canada.

The original low-cost carrier and the model for countless LCCs and ULCCs, including Canada’s own WestJet, could bring its low fares and customer-first philosophy to Canada in the next few years, says Southwest CEO Gary Kelly.

According to the Orlando Business Journal, Kelly told shareholders at Southwest’s annual shareholders’ meeting that Hawaii is first on his wish list. Southwest’s new Hawaii flights are set to launch at the end of 2018. Kelly said: “Our focus this year is on boosting service through our domestic route system. Hawaii expansion will be the major focus for Southwest in 2019, as far as fleet is concerned.”

Once the airline’s Hawaii service launches, flights to Canada and also Europe are also strong possibilities for the coming years, said Kelly.

WestJet and Southwest signed a distribution and codeshare partnership back in 2008. The carriers exited the deal in 2010.

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