U.S. carrier Southwest Airlines has announced plans to launch daily flights to Costa Rica, its first Central American destination. The Dallas-based carrier said it has applied for permission to fly from Baltimore the Costa Rican capital San Jose. The flights are due to begin from March 7.
“We look forward to offering the nature, culture, history, cuisine, adventure, peace, and prosperity of Costa Rica to even more visitors from the United States,” reacted Costa Rica’s Tourism Minister Wilhelm von Breymann Barquero.
Southwest Airlines customers elsewhere in the the United States can get to Costa Rica by flying nonstop to Baltimore and then catch the Baltimore-San Jose flight.
The U.S. carrier runs several flights to other Latin American countries, including Puerto Rico and Mexico. In November this year, Southwest will launch flights to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from its hub in Chicago.
Southwest began launching flights to international destinations as it is phasing out AirTran Airways, which it purchased in 2010. But Costa Rica was not even served by AirTran.
“We’re ready to add the adventure and beauty of Costa Rica to a growing horizon of international possibility available to the more than 100 million customers who fly with us each year,” Southwest chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said in Southwest’s announcement.
Delta seems to offer more flights than any other U.S. carrier to the Costa Rican capital. In July last year, it announced flights to San Jose from Minneapolis. This route complemented Delta’s existing services between San Jose and Atlanta and Los Angeles.