It took nearly a decade for Southwest Airlines to inaugurate Hawaii service from the time they publicly advertised for someone to manage certification of their planes for long flights over water. When Southwest does something new, it seems to take awhile.
However with Hawaii firmly under their belt, could Europe be next? This spring JetBlue announced they’d fly to Europe in 2021. Could Southwest be next? Their Boeing 737 MAXs could make the trip from the Northeast, and Southwest is formally looking at buying other aircraft.
According to Southwest’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, their pilot agreement allows them to codeshare with another airline flying across the Pond, and they’re certainly discussing it, but nothing is imminent, and codeshares would come before Southwest’s own service.
Southwest shared in August that they’re open to international codeshares, and indeed they’ve had them in the past. Southwest has codeshared with ATA Airlines, WestJet (Canada), Volaris (Mexico), and AirTran (once they acquired the Atlanta-based airline). They’ve also partnered with Icelandair.