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Southwest Airlines Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly says the Dallas-based carrier plans to be flying to all of its international destinations by early 2021.

In a video posted to Twitter, Kelly said Southwest is making plans to go back to more international destinations this fall and eventually to all 15 in Central America and the Caribbean by early next year.

However, much of that will depend on travel restrictions in those countries and demand from customers to travel to mostly leisure destinations, he said.

"We know these are important destinations for our customers and we're working diligently to resume service when it is safe and meets the needs of our business," Kelly said. "And our hope is to resume service to all of our previously served international destinations by early 2021."

Southwest had been mostly closed to international flying since late March when many countries enacted travel restrictions and demand dried up.

International flying is still expected to recover more slowly than domestic travel, but some experts think there is higher demand for leisure spots in the Western Hemisphere.

Southwest was finally able to relaunch international service to four destinations July 1 -- Cancun and Los Cabos in Mexico, Montego Bay in Jamaica and Nassau, Bahamas.

But there have been hiccups, too. Southwest had hoped to resume flights to Havana from Florida on July 1, but had to hold off because of travel restrictions in Cuba to prevent the spread of covid-19. It now hopes to restart that route Aug. 1, Kelly said.

It's unclear how much international demand there will be, especially as summer turns into fall.


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