Southwest and Volaris expand cities covered under their partnership

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Mexican low cost carrier Volaris and Southwest Airlines have more than doubled the number of connecting markets offered under their partnership launched in late 2010.

In the first phase of the partnership, Southwest passengers had the ability to book flights from 20 Southwest cities to select Volaris destinations -- Cancun, Guadalajara, Morelia, Toluca/Mexico City, and Zacatecas - through flights offered by Volaris from Los Angeles, Oakland and San Jose, California.

Southwest says now customers from 26 of its cities, primarily in the northeastern and midwestern US will connect on Volaris' flights from Chicago Midway to Guadalajara, Mexico. The new markets include New York's LaGuardia, Boston Logan, Detroit Metro, Newark Liberty International, Baltimore Washington International, Philadelphia International, Pittsburgh International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Nashville International, Indianapolis International, Lambert-St. Louis International, and Louisville International.

Passengers from 20 Southwest cities in the southwestern and western US can now connect on Volaris' flights from Las Vegas to Guadalajara. Those cities include Austin-Bergstrom International, Houston Hobby, Oklahoma City, Tulsa International, San Antonio International, and San Diego International, and join Denver International, Los Angeles International, Oakland International, Mineta-San Jose International, Sacramento International, and Phoenix Sky Harbor International, creating new connections to Cancun and Mexico City via Guadalajara.

The broadening of cities under the partnership creates new connections to Cancun and Mexico City via Guadalajara, says Southwest.

Plans to expand the relationship follow the launch by Volaris of Guadalajara-Las Vegas in March and new Guadalajara-Midway service in late 2010.

Under the agreement, each carrier sells local fares and issues their own tickets through a Southwest international connect portal. Customers are required to check in with each carrier, but luggage will be transferred to the final destination.

Southwest EVP planning and strategy Bob Jordan told ATI in October that in the near term a full-blown codeshare is not likely, and Southwest would need to review the codeshare decision as its reservations system evolves. Southwest has no firm date regarding a reservations system replacement.