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Southwest Airlines targets overseas flights

May 24, 2006

Southwest Airlines is all set to extend its low-fare revolution across the border. Southwest Airlines had taken the US aviation market by storm with its no-frills, cheap ticket fares offers.

"Southwest Airlines will begin connecting to international flights later this year with its partner, ATA, and might eventually fly its own planes to foreign cities," said Gary Kelly, Chief Executive, Southwest Airlines.

The move means that the passengers to Mexico, Canada and Caribbeans will have to pay only less than the normal fares. This would also mean stiff competition to other operating airlines. But analysts see this as a risky move from Southwest Airlines, as they have been focusing only on short and medium haul flights.

To start its first overseas route Southwest will first make a partnership with ATA. The deal would be such that, Southwest can sell flights to and from cities it doesn't serve, by connecting passengers to ATA flights.

ATA operates in several sectors that Southwest does not operate including Hawaii, New York city and San Francisco. As part of the partnership, Southwest will also start its first flights from Dallas/Fort Worth airport.

The whole process is thought to be a complicated process, as it has to get the U.S Transportation department to sign off on the routes. Once the approvals have been made, then Southwest can start its overseas flights.

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