Southwest Airlines Co. plans to begin shipping cargo to select international destinations starting in May, subject to requisite government approvals, the airline revealed Monday.
The first international destinations Southwest Airlines Cargo expects to serve are Mexico City, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta.
A Southwest Airlines spokesperson told American Shipper the company will be able to offer cargo services between the U.S. and Mexico in both directions.
“We will offer our customers the ability to ship between most of our U.S. destinations and Mexican destinations,” the spokesperson said. “We anticipate adding more international destinations to our cargo route map by the end of 2018.”
The company expects the flights will transport various commodities, including e-commerce goods, perishables, fresh cut flowers and some pharmaceuticals, the spokesperson said.
Although cross-border trucking challenges continue to persist between the U.S. and Mexico, air transport between the two nations has encountered tailwinds, thanks to a new air transport agreement that entered force back in 2016. The agreement allowed for increased market access for passenger and cargo airlines between the two nations.
Southwest Airlines setting its sights on the cross-border market between the U.S. and Mexico is just another example of how the logistics industry does not seem to be bogged down by the foggy future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The seventh round of NAFTA talks will be held Feb. 25-March 5 in Mexico City.