Southwest Airlines, the third-busiest carrier at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, is buttressing its Caribbean and Latin American network with the launch of daily nonstop service to Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.
Service from Fort Lauderdale to San Jose and Punta Cana is slated to begin Nov. 6, pending final government approvals, the Dallas-based low-cost carrier announced Thursday.
Airfares to San Jose start at $89 one-way, while Punta Cana’s begin at $129 one-way for purchase by 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 22 for travel between Nov. 6 and Jan. 7. Some day-of-travel and other restrictions may apply.
Also in the pipeline is nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale and Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, which is expected to begin on Nov. 5 pending requisite approvals. Flight schedules and fares will be released at a later date.
“We’re adding daily service in our established gateway in Fort Lauderdale as part of a larger effort to bring meaningful international service to customers coast-to-coast who have made us America’s largest carrier,” said Dave Harvey, Southwest’s managing director of business development, who oversees international route planning.
The routes announced Thursday will join four others Southwest is set to launch June 4 between Fort Lauderdale and Montego Bay, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Cancun, Mexico and Belize City, Belize.
Together with its newly-launched service to three cities in Cuba, the new routes are part of Southwest’s larger plan to boost its international route map through Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, where it is adding a new five-gate concourse in Terminal 1, where it currently operates.
Concourse A — part of a $295 million modernization and expansion of Terminal 1 — is slated to open early next month to join Southwest’s existing Concourses B and C. The new facility will house a Customs and Border Protection inspection station and new restaurants and shops.
This year through March, Southwest accounted for 18.3 percent of passenger traffic at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, behind Spirit Airlines’ 18.4 percent and JetBlue Airways’ 24.6 percent, airport data show.