Southwest Airlines to Offer Online Link to WestJet on Southwest.com

Southwest Airlines and WestJet Take the Next Step Toward Codeshare Partnership

Dec 16, 2008

DALLAS, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southwest Airlines today will offer Customers the ability to book flights to Canada on WestJet via a convenient online link to WestJet's booking portal on www.southwest.com. The two airlines previously announced they will eventually enter a codeshare partnership that will allow the carriers to offer Customers a seamless travel experience to a wide array of destinations. While the airlines plan to announce codeshare flight schedules by late 2009, the availability of WestJet flights via the link on southwest.com is an important first step forward in the relationship. Southwest Airlines does not offer service to Canada itself.

The link for Southwest Customers to book travel and learn more about WestJet's service, policies, procedures, as well as frequently asked questions, is located at http://www.southwest.com/cgi-bin/canadaTab. To view a blog post from our Vice President of Marketing, Sales, and Distribution Kevin Krone talking about this enhancement, visit: http://www.blogsouthwest.com/blog/southwestcom-now-offers-a-link-westjet

"The ability to offer Customers the option to book WestJet flights via the link on southwest.com is an excellent way to move our codeshare partnership forward," Krone said. "This advancement will lay the foundation for the eventual Southwest-WestJet codeshare by introducing our Customers to WestJet's brand and breadth of service."

"This is a very important step in the growth of WestJet and in our relationship with Southwest Airlines," said Duncan Bureau, Vice-President of Sales and Airline Partnerships for WestJet. "With the launch of this distribution arrangement, Southwest Customers will have the opportunity to book WestJet flights to Canada via one of the most popular airline websites in the world."

About Southwest Airlines

After 37 years of service, Southwest Airlines, the nation's leading low-fare carrier, continues to stand above other airlines -- offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the most productive airline in the sky and offers Customers a comfortable traveling experience with all premium leather seats and plenty of legroom. Southwest recently updated its gate areas and improved its boarding procedure to make flying Southwest Airlines even more convenient and simple. Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the nation's largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 64 cities (will begin service to Minneapolis-St. Paul in March 2009) in 32 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,300 flights a day and has more than 35,000 Employees systemwide.

About WestJet

WestJet is Canada's leading high-value low-cost airline offering scheduled service throughout its 51-city North American and Caribbean network. Named Canada's most admired corporate culture in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, WestJet pioneered low-cost flying in Canada. WestJet offers increased legroom and leather seats on its modern fleet of 76 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, and live seatback television provided by Bell TV. With future confirmed deliveries for an additional 45 aircraft, bringing its fleet to 121 by 2013, WestJet strives to be the number one choice for travelers.

This news release contains forward-looking statements related to Southwest's intention to offer services in connection with its planned codeshare alliance with WestJet. Specific statements relate to the anticipated impact of such alliance on Southwest's routes, fares, and Customer experience. These forward-looking statements are based on Southwest's current intent, beliefs, and expectations and are not guarantees of future results. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) the companies' ability to negotiate mutually agreeable codeshare terms and their receipt of necessary governmental approvals, (ii) consumer interest in, and demand for, the combined offering; (iii) the impact of competitive offerings; and (iv) economic and related uncertainties that could impact the ability of the two companies to fully implement all of the initiatives currently contemplated by their alliance.

SOURCE
Southwest Airlines 

CONTACT: 
Southwest Airlines Media Contact: +1-214-792-4847; WestJet Media Contact: Gillian Bentley, 888|WJ 4 NEWS (1-888-954-6397), gbentley@westjet.com