Southwest Airlines launches international cargo services with HOU-MEX route

U.S.-based low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines has launched its Houston-Mexico City route – marking the debut of the carrier’s international shipping program – with the intention to add Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas to its network later this summer.

The airline is starting with four roundtrips per day between Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). “HOU serves as the connecting point for MEX service to the rest of the Southwest Airlines network,” senior director of cargo and charters Wally Devereaux told Air Cargo World. He continued that the carrier will be moving “a wide variety of commodities, including perishables, various retail goods and medical related shipments, to name a few,” with the new service.

In March, Southwest Cargo rolled out its new point-of-sale system, Southwest Cargo Suite, enabling forwarders to book shipping space in advance, which the company said laid the foundation for this week’s international cargo shipping launch.

The company said it operates the largest fleet of 737 MAX 8s in the world – the fourth generation of the 737 series. Devereaux has praised the MAX 8 for its “length of haul opportunity” and its ability to “fly further and carry more weight.”

Earlier this year, the company accelerated the delivery dates for 23 firm orders of the aircraft from 2023-2024 to 2021-2022, and deferred 23 orders for the smaller MAX 7.

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