Southwest inks codeshare pact with WestJet

Southwest Airlines and Canadian carrier WestJet plan to establish a codeshare partnership in what will be Southwest’s first foray into international flying.

The airlines plan to announce codeshare flight schedules and other details by late 2009.

WestJet operates scheduled service to 49 destinations in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean with a fleet of 75 Boeing Next-Generation 737s. Southwest also flies 737s.

"This is a defining moment for WestJet," said WestJet CEO Sean Durfy. "It marks an important step forward for our guests and their ability to fly to more destinations in the United States conveniently and cost-effectively."

The carriers said Southwest.com will become a distribution channel for WestJet's existing Canadian and transborder flights, and that this option will be launched before codeshare flights are available for purchase.

An integration of frequent-flyer programs is under consideration, said Southwest and WestJet.

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