Illinois Tourism & Travel

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Why Southwest Airlines doesn’t offer international flights from Las Vegas

Southwest Airways, the busiest business air carrier serving Harry Reid International Airport, declared this thirty day period the most significant quantity of flights in and out of Las Vegas in the airline’s heritage.

Releasing its new routine that incorporates spring journey in March and April, Southwest claimed that by March, up to 243 day by day round excursions are planned — beating its former peak in 2009 of 240 every day flights. It is also an increase of 12 flights from February 2023’s posted schedule.

There is a lot to like about Southwest these days.

At 243 every day flights, Las Vegas is second only to Denver’s 270 departures as the busiest station Southwest serves.

The Dallas-dependent airline now has 230 day by day flights to 66 destinations and occupies 21 gates at Reid airport. Far more than 3,700 persons function for the airline in Las Vegas, which is the property of pilot and crew bases.

In July, Southwest flew 1.72 million travellers, a 13.4 per cent maximize around July 2021.

But even with all these positives, Southwest is lacking out on a vital market place in this article — intercontinental vacationers.

In addition to flying to numerous places in the Caribbean, Southwest features support to the Mexican locations of Cabo San Lucas-Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Cozumel. It also goes to Central America’s Liberia and San Jose in Costa Rica and Belize.

Mexican vacationers adore Las Vegas pretty much as a great deal as Hawaiians, who visit Vegas so typically that Southern Nevada is affectionately recognised as “the Ninth Island.”

The city’s sports advertising and marketing wizards often feel to obtain a way to program a main boxing match with a well-liked Mexican fighter all around Mexican Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo. Allegiant Stadium has proved its value to soccer followers with significant futbol matches that have drawn thousands of enthusiasts.

It’s not that Mexico is inaccessible by air.

Aeromexico, Viva Aerobus, Volaris, Copa and Frontier Airways offer nonstop flights to Las Vegas from Central American locations. You can even fly Southwest there if you really don’t mind a stop to transform planes.

Absolutely everyone appreciates that giving nonstop flights is the gold regular.

So why doesn’t Southwest fly nonstop to Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize?

“We’d like to,” Adam Decaire, vice president of community planning for Southwest, explained in a the latest interview.

“It’s the way the terminals are set up,” he explained. “The global flights come out of Terminal 3 and we’re more than at Terminal 1.”

What that indicates is most Las Vegas travellers would verify in and fly out of Terminal 1’s B and C gates. But when they return, they’d get there at Terminal 3’s D or E gates since it’s in which passageways that lead to U.S. Customs and Border Security checks are found. It would likely suggest that travellers would claim baggage at Terminal 3 and arrive at a diverse terminal from which they left. It also suggests the arriving Southwest plane would have to be towed to the other terminal.

“We’ve talked to (Clark County Aviation Director) Rosemary (Vassiliadis) about it,” Decaire explained. “The purchaser practical experience … how do you determine that out?”

Airport spokesman Joe Rajchel said Reid officers are open up to on the lookout at solutions.

“As the most significant carrier at Harry Reid Worldwide Airport, Southwest is an a must have companion in bringing air provider to Las Vegas,” Rajchel mentioned. “There are quite a few logistical troubles that would come with potentially launching new global routes. If the airline determines it is advantageous to broaden international offerings to LAS, the airport will get the job done to try out discovering remedies that get the job done for all get-togethers.”

Decaire stated he has no doubt that nonstop flights from Las Vegas to Mexico and Central The us would be as successful as Southwest’s nonstop Hawaii services. The airline at present has an normal of 30 weekly nonstop spherical trips to four distinctive Hawaiian islands from Reid airport.

Upcoming thirty day period, Las Vegas will host the yearly Routes World conference bringing airline, airport and vacation spot final decision-makers jointly to discuss the world’s route network.

Probably that would be a good time for Southwest and Reid airport to determine out a assistance that would provide a new choice for Southern Nevada customers as effectively as enhance the city’s tourism economic climate.

Make contact with Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. Observe @RickVelotta on Twitter.