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Number of International Flights Increasing at BWI

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BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport has continued to work with airlines to boost domestic and international air service. International passenger traffic, in particular, has grown steadily in recent years at BWI Marshall, with first quarter 2015 statistics revealing that international traffic increased by more than 22%.

On the morning of July 1, 2014, BWI Marshall welcomed the first-ever scheduled international flights from Southwest Airlines. On that day, Southwest started nonstop service between Baltimore and three international markets: Aruba, Montego Bay and Nassau. Those routes shifted to Southwest from AirTran Airways, after the latter became a subsidiary of Southwest.

That day, BWI Marshall Airport CEO Paul Wiedefeld said, “We look forward to working with Southwest in coming years as the airline grows its international product”; since, Southwest has continued to grow its international service at the airport. Gary Kelly, the airline’s president, CEO and chairman, recently said, “International is the growth opportunity ahead [for Southwest], and BWI will be a big part of that.”

Those comments are proving true, as the airline has added new international routes beyond those markets originally served by AirTran. In May, Southwest announced that it would add international flights between BWI Marshall and Liberia, Costa Rica. With this new route starting in November, Southwest will serve eight international destinations from BWI Marshall; Southwest began service to San José, Costa Rica, in March and will begin flights to Los Cabos, Mexico, in June.

The airline also recently added a new ticket counter to serve its BWI Marshall international passengers. The new Southwest international ticketing check-in is located adjacent to the airport’s B/C checkpoint.

The new flights from Southwest are among a growing number of international routes for BWI Marshall in 2015. WOW air, a low-fare airline based in Iceland, started new service at BWI Marshall in May. WOW air offers flights to Iceland, with easy connections to a number of other European markets. The airline’s CEO, Skuli Mogensen, said, “WOW is committed to providing customers incredible values on flights to Iceland and Europe from BWI.”

“This new service is good news for tourism in Maryland, and it will provide our residents and businesses with easy access to Europe,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

WOW air first announced in October 2014 that it planned to start service at BWI Marshall in June of 2015. Due to high traveler demand, the budget airline later announced that it would begin its BWI Marshall flights on May 8, about a month earlier than the original schedule. During the peak summer months, WOW air will operate its flights five days per week from BWI Marshall, which is one additional weekly flight than the airline’s original plan.

In addition, Condor has added a third weekly flight between BWI Marshall and Frankfurt, Germany, a major international destination and an important European hub market, for this summer. And British Airways continues to provide daily nonstop service to London’s Heathrow Airport.

As international traffic continues to expand, BWI Marshall is working to add capacity for international growth, which is evidenced by the construction that is underway for the major D/E Connector program.