By Alexis R. Milan
Southwest Airlines has become the latest US airline to include Belize in its international network.
Starting October next year, Southwest will make direct connections from Houston to Belize four times a week.
Southwest announced this week that it has filed applications with the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin service to Belize and five other new destinations, including Mexico City, Cancún,, Puerto Villarta and San Jose del Cabo in Mexico, and San Jose, Costa Rica.
Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia has welcomed the announcement, and said he is pleased with Southwest’s intention to start up a service to Belize.
The entry of Southwest Airlines promises to be a game-changer for the tourism sector of Belize, tourism officials say.
The Belize Tourism Board described the new development as “exciting”, and said it is looking forward to welcoming Southwest Airlines as the country’s newest industry partner.
This partnership will provide Belize with non-stop service from William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas commencing October 2015.
The service to Belize’s Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport makes Belize the 96th city of call on Southwest’s route map.
“Adding Belize to the Southwest network continues our expansion to international destinations where our people and consumer-friendly policies can deliver as no other airline can,” Southwest Chief Executive Officer, Gary Kelly said in a statement.
Southwest’s entrance into Mexico andCentral America has come about because of an expansion of the Houston airport with five new gates.
This Dallas-based airline is in its 44th year of operation and boasts the world’s largest fleet of Boeing aircraft. .