Southwest opens new chapter: International flights

DALLAS - After four decades of expanding to all corners of the lower 48 states, Southwest Airlines flies into new territory on Tuesday — Jamaica, the Bahamas and Aruba.

Southwest is taking over routes flown by AirTran Airways, which it bought in 2011. The company plans to eliminate the AirTran brand by year end.

Southwest Flight 1804 left Baltimore-Washington International Airport on Tuesday morning for the airline's first overseas flight — to Oranjestad, Aruba.

After the first three international destinations, it will add service next month to Cancun and Los Cabos in Mexico, and will start flying to Mexico City and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic in November.

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