Southwest Airlines Launches First Ever Bay Area International Flights from Oakland

Aviation Pros
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February 10, 2017


Oakland International Airport (OAK) and Southwest Airlines will launch the airline’s first ever international flights from the San Francisco Bay Area on February 12. Southwest will commence daily service to two popular destinations on the Mexican Riviera, Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos.

Reveling travelers will be greeted at the airport by a mariachi band, balloons, cake, and executives from both the Airport and Southwest. The flight to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) departs at 10:40 am, with the flight to Los Cabos departing shortly thereafter, at 11:05 am.  It's a day for celebration as the inaugural flights will commence on the 90th Anniversary of the Port of Oakland, which operates the Airport.

We’re thrilled that Southwest continues to have East and North Bay residents in mind, adding these two often requested routes from Oakland, home of their largest and most extensive Bay Area operation.  Travelers across Southwest’s western network - in particular those in Reno-Tahoe, Boise, Spokane, and Portland – also now have faster and more reliable options by connecting here at OAK," said Bryant L. Francis, director of aviation for the Port of Oakland. "These new nonstop flights translate to greatly reduced journey times for sun and fun seekers resulting in more time at the destination.”

“Linking the East and North Bay to these Mexican beach resort areas with time-saving itineraries brings our customers low-fare and high-value service that traffic patterns show is already important in their lives,” said Leah Koontz, Southwest vice president of finance & controller. “We’re adding nonstop service that extends the reach of Oakland’s convenient and easy airport experience to bring two of the top-ranking international destinations that currently don’t have a nonstop option.”

Perfect Timing for International Expansions    

Southwest’s expansion into the international market from OAK comes as the airport enhances its facilities to handle a significant increase in international traffic during 2017.

Work is well underway to modernize and expand the International Arrivals Building for U.S. Customs & Border Protection services, and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2017.  Arriving international passengers will enjoy a fresh and contemporary terminal experience, adding to the convenience of flying OAK. The Airport seeks to continue improving the customer experience.

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