Southwest Airlines’ CEO Gary Kelly, through a video posted to Twitter, aims to gradually restart international services (which officially resumed on July 1). They are planning to resume flights to all fifteen of its Caribbean and Central American destinations by early 2021.
Destinations will reopen depending upon the regulations
Kelly said that a cross-departmental Southwest team will monitor when each destination is ready to welcome visitors again. Reopening timelines and regulations vary according to country, as they can change amid fluctuating conditions on the ground.
Kelly, while giving an example, said, “We originally anticipated resuming Havana service on July 1, but have now postponed that to no earlier than August 1, due to that country’s changing restrictions.”
Miami Herald revealed that a higher-than-expected demand for will be seen in the Western Hemisphere. Once a destination is ready for reopening, Southwest Airlines will resume depending upon three criteria: the safety of people, crew, and customers; the quality of the customer experience; and the profitability of the route, Kelly said.
Kelly explained: “During this critical time, we want to ensure any route we resume will help us reduce our overall cash burn and our commercial teams have contingencies in place if local conditions aren’t conducive or the demand isn’t there.”
“Many of our international destinations have higher demand during specific times of the year. We know these are important destinations for our customers and we’re working diligently to resume service when it is safe and meets the needs of our business. And our hope is to resume service to all of our previously served international destinations by early 2021,” Kelly added.