The following blog post is by Southwest Sr. Business Consultant Jeff Sigmon
August 2016 saw Southwest celebrate the opening of our newest international gateway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) with daily flights to Nassau, Bahamas. In the time since, we also celebrated the expansion of service to Varadero, Havana, and Santa Clara, Cuba; followed by the announcement of nonstop service to Belize City; Cancun, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Grand Cayman—all beginning on June 4 when a new facility comes on-line at FLL. The facility will bring additional gates and U.S. Customs & Border Protection services to our Terminal 1.
We’re keeping the momentum going and continuing our growth for FLL by having filed application this week with the U.S. Department of Transportation to serve Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (PLS) via nonstop service from FLL. The service would begin Nov. 5, 2017, subject to governmental approvals.
The Turks & Caicos Islands encompass a large international market popular with both local Floridians and our Customers. The short, 1 hr., 45 min. flight (580 miles) comes with a relatively low aircraft investment to one of the world’s greatest beach destinations, home to Grace Bay Beach, which consistently appears among TripAdvisor’s Top World Beaches.
Fans of marine activities will find world-class snorkeling and scuba diving along 70 miles of barrier reefs, paddle boarding, boating, kayaking, and fishing. Chalk Sound, an area encompassing hundreds of rocky islands surrounded by serene lagoons, complement the amazing beaches of Turks & Caicos.
Hats off to the entire cross-functional Team that assessed and is now readying for PLS and future international service!