Southwest planning foray into long-haul international service

09/16/2009 | Air Transport World

Citing the success of Asian discounters like AirAsia X and Jetstar, a Southwest Airlines executive says the "low-cost, long-haul" model can work in the U.S. as well. Lee Lipton, Southwest's director of network strategic planning, told ATWOnline that airline executives are "still evaluating our options" for international service, though "Europe and South America are our first choice." Lipton said international service "could even become a trend for LCCs in the coming days," but Andrew Herdman of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines isn't so sure. "I wouldn't say it can't work, but it's quite challenging," he said, noting that international service would require wide-body aircraft, two-class service and GDS ticket sales. "All these would make low-cost carriers look like full-service airlines," he said.

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